Bethesda, MD (April 29, 2013) Pregnant women with mid to high levels of antibodies common in patients with celiac disease are at risk for having babies with reduced fetal weight and birth weight, according to a new study in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. The antibody tissue transglutaminase (anti-tTG) is most commonly found in patients with celiac disease.
"While several observational studies have suggested that celiac disease is associated with different pregnancy outcomes, this research takes into account the actual levels of tissue transglutaminase that reflect the degree of mucosal damage associated with undiagnosed celiac disease or limited compliance to a gluten-free diet. This differentiation is critical since most celiac disease cases remain undiagnosed," said Jessica Kiefte-de Jong, MSc, Erasmus University Medical Center, and lead author of the study.
Researchers conducted a population-based perspective birth cohort study of 7,046 pregnant women, and categorized subjects into three groups: negative anti-tTG (control), intermediate anti-tTG (just below the clinical cut-off point used to diagnose patients with celiac disease) and positive anti-tTG (highly probable celiac disease patients). Fetuses of women with positive anti-tTG weighed 16 grams less than those of women with negative anti-tTG levels during the second trimester and weighed 74 grams less during the third trimester.
People with intermediate anti-tTG levels are generally not considered to be potential celiac disease patients, yet birth outcomes for these individuals were also affected. Infants of women with intermediate and positive anti-tTG weighted 53 grams and 159 grams less at birth, respectively, than those of women with negative anti-tTG.
"Researchers need to explore the natural history and long-term consequences of intermediate anti-tTG levels to determine if these levels are caused b
|Contact: Rachel Steigerwald|
American Gastroenterological Association