HealthDay News — The prevalence of celiac disease is higher among screened first-degree relatives of patients with celiac disease, according to a study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Shilpa S. Nellikkal, MBBS, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues performed a retrospective cohort study involving 104 patients with celiac disease and their first-degree relatives. Demographics, presenting symptoms, indication for testing, family history, number of other family members screened, biopsy reports, and results of serologic testing were obtained.

The researchers found that 360 of 477 first-degree relatives of individuals with celiac disease identified were screened (mean screening rate per family, 79% ± 25%) and 160 first-degree relativess (44%) were diagnosed with celiac disease. Positive antitissue transglutaminase (anti-TTG) titers were identified in all diagnosed first-degree relatives. In 148 diagnosed first-degree relatives, clinical features were documented: 6%, 66%, and 28% had classic, nonclassic, and no reported symptoms, respectively. Histology reports were obtained from 155 first-degree relatives: 8%, 50%, and 43% had Marsh 1, Marsh 3a, and Marsh 3b, respectively. First-degree relatives with villous atrophy were identified by a level of anti-TTG ≥2.75 of the upper limit of normal with sensitivity, specificity, and a positive predictive value of 87%, 82%, and 95%, respectively.

“Larger multicenter prospective studies are required to confirm anti-TTG titers as a diagnostic test among [first-degree relatives],” the authors write.

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