It is accepted that untreated celiac disease in the mother is associated with reduced birthweight. Dr Jonas Ludvigsson investigated whether neonatal outcome could also be affected by treated celiac disease in either parent.
The researchers examined 10,597 single birth infants from south-east Sweden.
53 of the infants had a mother with known celiac disease, and 27 infants had a father suffering from the disease.
Infants whose parents suffered from celiac disease had a significantly reduced body weight. Celiac disease in the father reduced birthweight by an average of 266 grams, compared to a reduction of 222 grams when the mother suffered from the disease.
The study also found that celiac disease in either parent increases the likelihood that an infant will belong to the low birthweight (less than 2.5 kg) category. Odds ratios for low birthweight were 5.05 for a father with celiac disease and 6.26 for a mother.
Infants whose father suffered from celiac disease had a significantly shorter pregnancy period than controls.
Celiac disease in other close relatives was not found to have an effect on neonatal outcome.