Dr Gudrun Wagner and colleagues assessed the influence of gluten-free diet compliance on the quality of life of adolescents with celiac disease, and the impact of patient's age at time of diagnosis.
The team included 365 subjects, of which 283 were adolescents with biopsy-proven celiac disease.
The research team evaluated 82 adolescents without a chronic condition matched for age, sex, education, and social status.
The subjective quality of life-comprising physical, mental, and social dimensions as defined by the World Health Organization-was measured, and was analyzed according to compliance status and age at celiac disease diagnosis.
The researchers found that adolescents noncompliant with gluten-free diet reported a lower general quality of life, and more physical problems.
The team noted that adolescent noncompliance with gluten-free diet had a higher burden of illness, more family problems, and more problems in leisure time than adolescents who are compliant with gluten-free diet.
|Gluten-free diet transgressions were associated with poorer quality of life|
|Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition|
More frequent gluten-free diet transgressions were associated with poorer quality of life.
Higher problem anticipation and higher feelings of ‘ill-being’ were found in the noncompliant group.
No differences between compliant patients with celiac disease and adolescents without any chronic condition were found in all quality of life aspects.
Adolescents with a late celiac disease diagnosis showed more problems at school and in social contact with peers.
In addition, the team noted that adolescents with a late celiac disease diagnosis showed worse physical health and higher celiac disease-associated burden.
Dr Wagner’s team concluded, “Compliance with gluten-free diet is an essential factor to obtain optimal quality of life.”
“Psychosocial and educational support should be provided for patients having difficulties strictly adhering to gluten-free diet.”
“Early celiac disease onset and diagnosis is associated with better physical health, lower celiac disease-associated burden and fewer social problems, indicating the importance of the earliest celiac disease diagnosis possible.”