Kawasaki disease raises coeliac risk

Children with Kawasaki disease may be at increased risk of coeliac disease, Italian researchers have claimed.

Patients with the auto-immune disorder should be monitored for signs of gluten intolerance, they said. The study included 90 children diagnosed with Kawasaki disease at an average age of two and a half years. Five of these had histologically confirmed coeliac disease. In contrast, just one of 150 healthy control children had the condition.

An increased prevalence of coeliac disease among Kawasaki disease patients could be caused by shared genetic mechanisms. It may be due to changes in permeability of the intestinal mucosa during the disease.

Other autoimmune disorders, including type-1 diabetes and autoimmune thyroid diseases, have previously been linked with coeliac disease, suggesting a common pathogenesis.

Rheumatology 2006; 45: 847-50

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