Prevalence of celiac disease in patients with Down syndrome: a meta-analysis

Yang Du, Ling-Fei Shan, Zong-Ze Cao, Jin-Chao Feng _ and Yong Cheng

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:5387-5396. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23624

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Yang Du1,*, Ling-Fei Shan1,*, Zong-Ze Cao1, Jin-Chao Feng1 and Yong Cheng1

1Center on Translational Neuroscience, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Minzu University of China, Beijing 100081, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jin-Chao Feng, email: [email protected]

Yong Cheng, email: [email protected]

Keywords: celiac disease; Down syndrome; prevalence; meta-analysis

Received: September 29, 2017    Accepted: December 13, 2017    Published: December 23, 2017


Background: The association between Down syndrome and celiac disease has been reported by many studies. However, the prevalence of celiac disease (CD) in Down syndrome (DS) varies considerably across studies (from 0 % to 19 %). The aim of this study was to use meta-analysis to exam the prevalence of CD in patients with DS.

Methods: A systematic search of English articles from Pubmed, Web of Science and CNKI without year limitation. Data were extracted by two independent observers and pooled using a random effects model by the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis Version 2 software.

Results: A pooled analysis, based on 31 studies included 4383 individuals, revealed prevalence of biopsy-confirmed CD of 5.8 % (95 % CI = 4.7-7.2 %) in patients with DS. Sub-group analysis showed a slightly higher prevalence of CD in children with DS (6.6 %; 17 studies), than in age mixed samples with both children and adults (5.1 %; 13 studies). In addition, most of the studies included in this meta-analysis were from Europe and America, with the prevalence of celiac disease of 6 % (21 studies) and 5.7 % (6 studies) in DS patients, respectively. Furthermore, meta-regression analysis suggested that proportion of antibody-positive individuals that underwent small intestine biopsy had moderating effect on the outcome of the meta-analysis.

Conclusions: These results demonstrated that patients (children) with Down syndrome had high prevalence of CD (more than one in twenty). The prevalence is high enough to motivate screening CD in DS children.

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