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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


VERBEKE P, Sandra et al. Risk markers for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and duration of exposure to gluten in celiac patients. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2004, vol.132, n.8, pp.979-984. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Celiac patients are at high risk of developing insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, a condition that has a long pre-diabetic period. During this lapse, anti-islet cell antibodies serve as markers for future disease. This may be related with the duration of the exposure to gluten. Aim: To test the hypothesis that long term adherence to a gluten free diet decreases the frequency of risk markers for insulin dependent diabetes mellitus during adolescence and early adulthood. Patients and methods: 158 celiac patients were classified as: G1, (n=30 patients) studied at the time of diagnosis; G2 (n=97 patients) exposed to gluten as a result of non compliance with the gluten free diet and, G3 (n=31 patients) who had maintained a long term, strict gluten free diet. Isotype IgG anti-islet cell antibodies were detected by indirect immunofluorescence using monkey pancreas; results were reported in Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDF) units. Results: Celiac patients exposed to a gluten containing diet had a significantly higher prevalence of anti-islet cell antibodies than those who had been exposed only briefly (p <0.017). In addition, a significantly higher prevalence of anti-islet cell antibodies was observed in those patients whose exposure to gluten was longer than 5 years than in those whose exposure was shorter (p <0.02). Conclusions: Celiac patients long exposed to gluten have a significantly higher prevalence of anti-islet cell antibodies than those exposed for a short period. This fact supports the hypothesis that the development of these antibodies is associated with the length of the exposure to gluten (Rev Méd Chile 2004; 132: 979-84)

Keywords : Diabetes mellitus, type I; Gluten-sensitive enteropathy; Pancreatic beta cells; Prediabetic state.

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