Background The incidence of coeliac disease varies internationally.
Aims To assess the incidence of childhood coeliac disease in The Netherlands and to study the clinical features and the presence of associated disorders.
Subjects Identified cases of childhood coeliac disease in The Netherlands in 1993-4 by means of the Dutch Paediatric Surveillance Unit.
Methods Inclusion criteria were born in The Netherlands, diagnosed with at least one biopsy of the small bowel in 1993-4 and age at diagnosis 0-14 years. The data were cross checked by the Dutch Network and National Database of Pathology and compared with data from a previous study on childhood coeliac disease, 1975-90.
Results A total of 193 coeliac patients were identified by means of the Surveillance Unit, another 20 through the National Database of Pathology. The mean crude incidence rate of diagnosed childhood coeliac disease was 0-54/1000 live births, which is in the range of rates found in other western European countries and significantly higher than the mean crude incidence rate of0 18/1000 live births found in The Netherlands in 1975-90. The clinical presentation was classic: chronic diarrhoea, abdominal distension, and growth failure. Associated disorders were present in 11.7% of the cases.
Conclusions The incidence of diagnosed childhood coeliac disease in The Netherlands seems to have increased significantly during the past few years. In a period of 20 years no significant changes could be found in the clinical picture at presentation of coeliac disease in Dutch children.

Additional Metadata
Keywords coeliac disease, epidemiology, incidence, The Netherlands
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1136/gut.40.1.61, hdl.handle.net/1765/101878
Journal Gut (English Edition): an international journal of gastroenterology & hepatology
Citation
George, E.K, Mearin, M.L, Franken, H.C.M, Houwen, R.H.J, Hirasing, R.A, & Vandenbroucke, J.P. (1997). Twenty years of childhood coeliac disease in The Netherlands: a rapidly increasing incidence?. Gut (English Edition): an international journal of gastroenterology & hepatology, 40(1), 61–67. doi:10.1136/gut.40.1.61