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Study: Little celiac disease follow-up
Patients with celiac disease — a chronic ailment that may have long-term complications — were often given inadequate follow-up, U.S. researchers say.
Dr. Joseph A. Murray of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said celiac disease occurs in the digestive system when people cannot tolerate the protein gluten.
Murray and colleagues collected data on 122 patients diagnosed with celiac disease from 1996 to 2006 in Olmsted County, Minn., — 70 percent women, median age 42.
The study, published in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, determined the frequency at which patients received follow-up exams was from six months to five years after diagnosis. Among 113 patients who were tracked for more than four years, only 35 percent received follow-up analyses that were consistent with American Gastroenterological Association recommendations.
“In the group of celiac disease patients that we observed, we found that very few of them had medical follow-up that would be in keeping with even the most lax interpretation of current guidelines,” Murray, the lead author, said in a statement. “Doctors and patients need to be aware of the need for medical follow-up of celiac disease. This is a chronic disease with the possibility of long-term complications. If gastroenterologists are leading the way in the detection of celiac disease, we must improve our communication to patients to ensure that they get needed follow-up care in order to improve outcomes in celiac disease.”
Copyright 2012 by United Press International