Poster 572 Gluten-Free Diet and Lipid Profile in Children with Celiac Disease
Author insight from Maria Luisa Forchielli, MD, Medical School of Bologna, Italy
What’s new here and important for clinicians?
Children and adolescents with celiac disease on gluten-free diet seemingly have a different lipid profile than the general population with similar age and gender. In particular, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol strikingly increases with age, with higher levels in females than in males. A different trend was found for total cholesterol which, compared to controls, decreases with age in males and increases in females. Interestingly, these effects seem to be dependent on time on gluten-free diet. Although abundant in proteins, gluten-free dieting in these patients was appropriate in fibers. Overfeeding did not occur and saturated fat was limited. Despite a slight increase in body mass index in the first year of gluten-free diet, the patients were better off in terms of waist circumference and height ratio. This last parameter is useful for assessment of overweight and thus an indirect proof of lower cardiovascular risk incidence.
What do patients need to know?
Gluten-free diet is essential in celiac disease, but may expose to high caloric and fat load. After evaluating a large group of children and adolescents on gluten-free diet, we found a high level of “good” cholesterol, which was even higher the longer they had been on gluten-free diet. Males also had low values of total cholesterol when compared to the general population. With respect to diet, it was not true that they were exposed to high caloric and saturated fat load. In addition, they ate a proper amount of fibers. However, it is possible that these effects were achieved because families partly relied on home-made food and because both parents and children read food labels.
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