The Swedish population-based study
The study’s purpose is to investigate how common gluten intolerance is and if there is a way to prevent the disease. Therefore 10 000 children in the 6th grade, from different parts of Sweden, have been invited to the study in 2005-2006 and additionally 10 000 children born in 1997 will be invited to the study in 2009-2010. The study is called ETICS- Exploring the Iceberg of Celiacs in Sweden and is approved by the Research Ethics Committee.
Paediatric departments in different parts of Sweden (Umeå, Norrtälje, Norrköping, Växjö, Lund-Malmö) collaborate with schools and their health services. All sixth grade children in these schools are invited by a letter to the parents. In conjunction with a visit to the school health services, the children have their weight and height measured and blood samples are taken. Blood samples are stored at -70°C, and analysed by standardised methods. All samples are analysed for serological markers indicative of CD, and children with suspected disease are referred a paediatric department for a small intestinal biopsy, and thereafter follow-up according to a standardised protocol. All children are also asked to fill in a questionnaire during school hours, and to take another questionnaire to their parents. This will take place after blood-sampling, but before the results are available.
The first results of the study have been presented at 21st annual AOECS conference and International celiac disease meeting, Slovenien 2007 by Anna Myléus (see poster) Project information is available on www.umu.se/phmed/epidemi/celiaki/etics/.