Celiac Disease in Children with Functional Constipation: A School-Based Multicity Study

Amanda C. Fifi, Carlos Velasco-Benitez, Miguel Saps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether children in the community with functional constipation have increased prevalence of celiac disease. Study design: Between April 4, 2015, and April 25, 2017, we enrolled 1809 children from 5 schools in Colombia and screened them for functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), including functional constipation, using questionnaires recommended in the Rome III/IV criteria. We matched children with functional constipation with healthy controls without a FGID and tested them for celiac disease with tissue transglutaminase (tTG)-Immunoglobulin A (IgA) and total IgA screening. In those who tested positive for tTG-IgA, we performed HLA genotyping and endoscopy to obtain 4 duodenal biopsy specimens for classification of celiac disease using the Marsh criteria. Analysis of statistical significance between groups of children with and without functional constipation was done using a 2-tailed Fisher exact test. Results: Patients diagnosed with functional constipation (n = 203) were matched with 419 healthy controls without FGIDs. The overall prevalence of celiac disease in the entire cohort was 0.6%. Of those with functional constipation, 1 (0.5%) was diagnosed with celiac disease, and 3 (0.7%) of the control patients without FGIDs had celiac disease (P =.743). Conclusions: The prevalence of celiac disease in our cohort was similar to worldwide estimates. The prevalence of celiac disease in schoolchildren with functional constipation in Colombia is similar to those without FGIDs. Thus, routine testing of schoolchildren with functional constipation for celiac disease is not indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-80
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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