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How your date of birth may determine your gluten tolerance

When and where you were born could be linked to heightened risk of developing coeliac disease.
Coeliac disease in young

The season in which you were born and the area of your birth could affect your risk of developing childhood coeliac disease.

Research into gluten diets. Photo: iStock

After studying the records of two million children born 1991-2009, Swedish researchers conclude that those born in winter are less likely to develop the gluten-intolerant digestive condition.

Of 6,569 children diagnosed, the risk was 10% higher among children born in spring, summer and autumn than among those born December-February, says the report, published in the archives of Disease in Childhood.

Seasonal patterns differed by region. Risk of coeliac disease was higher among those born in the south of Sweden, where sunlight in spring and summer is intense, than among children born in the north, where springs are colder and summers shorter.

Children diagnosed before the age of 2 seemed at increased risk if

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The season in which you were born and the area of your birth could affect your risk of developing childhood coeliac disease.

Research into gluten diets. Photo: iStock

After studying the records of two million children born 1991-2009, Swedish researchers conclude that those born in winter are less likely to develop the gluten-intolerant digestive condition.

Of 6,569 children diagnosed, the risk was 10% higher among children born in spring, summer and autumn than among those born December-February, says the report, published in the archives of Disease in Childhood.

Seasonal patterns differed by region. Risk of coeliac disease was higher among those born in the south of Sweden, where sunlight in spring and summer is intense, than among children born in the north, where springs are colder and summers shorter.

Children diagnosed before the age of 2 seemed at increased risk if born in spring, while those diagnosed after this age were at increased risk if they were born in summer or autumn.

Risk of coeliac disease was consistently higher among girls than boys. Circulating viral infections could be the explanation, say researchers, but the role of vitamin D during pregnancy may play a part.

‘One hypothesis is that infants are more likely to be weaned and introduced to gluten during autumn/winter, a time characterised by exposure to seasonal viral infections,’ suggests lead author Fredinah Namatovu.

 

Namatovu F, Lindkvist M, Olsson C et al (2016) Season and region of birth as risk factors for coeliac disease a key to the aetiology? Archives of Disease in Childhood. doi 10.1136/archdischild-2015-310122

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