Celiac Screening for Relatives

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Medical guidelines recommend that all first-degree relatives of celiac patients be screened for celiac disease. However, a recent study found poor overall adherence to celiac screening for relatives.

In the study, researchers looked at relatives of patients seen at Columbia University Medical Center to determine how commonly testing occurred in family members of those with celiac disease and to identify the factors that influenced testing. They found that almost 30 percent of symptomatic first-degree relatives had not been tested for the genetic disease. When testing did happen, it was more likely in adults, relatives being seen by a gastroenterologist, relatives with symptoms, first-degree relatives of a patient with celiac disease and relatives with a documented history of celiac disease.

The researchers recommended that electronic health records be leveraged to expand family history and to help personalize medical care.

The study was presented at Digestive Disease Week and published online in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.