Wednesday, April 22, 2009

No Brainer - Researchers Find Benefits from Widespread Celiac Testing

I've talked about this many times before but it's interesting to see these kind of articles that keep coming out. Celiac Awareness should lead to better and faster diagnosis which will in turn lead to better health for approximately 1% of the US population. A new study from the Netherlands followed 32 children ages 2-4 whose CD was detected through screening of the general population in 1998. Ten years later, (after following the Gluten Free diet) their health was of the same status as someone without the disease. Their conclusion was that mass screening has it's merits.

See the latest article from American Medical News here. I pulled out some interesting parts of the article... It's interesting to see Dr. Fasano's comments about cost-effectiveness which is a totally valid point in the US.
Identifying celiac disease through population wide screening leads to improved health for those who are diagnosed, and as a result, establishing these types of programs on a limited scale should be considered, according to a study in the April Pediatrics.

Whether to screen for the condition and who should be tested have been a matter of debate. Many experts do not believe population wide efforts would be realistic, although more targeted efforts are viewed as relevant. A small but growing number of institutions are periodically providing screening opportunities, and a handful of guidelines recommend it for specific populations.

"The most cost-effective way is case-finding," said Alessio Fasano, MD, medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research in Baltimore. "We need to test people who have symptoms and conditions related to celiac disease rather than screen everybody."
What are your thoughts - screen everyone or targeted screening?
Also - check out Emily's recent post over at Celiac Underground about the benefits of better and faster diagnosis.


Emily said...

Great, Zach! Let's all keep talking about this.

Thanks for linking to me. Hopefully we'll all stay talking! :)

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