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Diagnostic delay in adult coeliac disease: An Italian multicentre study

Published:December 23, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dld.2022.11.021

      Abstract

      Background

      There are few data regarding the diagnostic delay and its predisposing factors in coeliac disease (CD).

      Aims

      To investigate the overall, the patient-dependant, and the physician-dependant diagnostic delays in CD.

      Methods

      CD adult patients were retrospectively enroled at 19 Italian CD outpatient clinics (2011–2021). Overall, patient-dependant, and physician-dependant diagnostic delays were assessed. Extreme diagnostic, i.e., lying above the third quartile of our population, was also analysed. Multivariable regression models for factors affecting the delay were fitted.

      Results

      Overall, 2362 CD patients (median age at diagnosis 38 years, IQR 27–46; M:F ratio=1:3) were included. The median overall diagnostic delay was 8 months (IQR 5–14), while patient- and physician-dependant delays were 3 (IQR 2–6) and 4 (IQR 2–6) months, respectively. Previous misdiagnosis was associated with greater physician-dependant (1.076, p = 0.005) and overall (0.659, p = 0.001) diagnostic delays. Neurological symptoms (odds ratio 2.311, p = 0.005) and a previous misdiagnosis (coefficient 9.807, p = 0.000) were associated with a greater extreme physician-dependant delay. Gastrointestinal symptoms (OR 1.880, p = 0.004), neurological symptoms (OR 2.313, p = 0.042), and previous misdiagnosis (OR 4.265, p = 0.000) were associated with increased extreme overall diagnostic delay.

      Conclusion

      We identified some factors that hamper CD diagnosis. A proper screening strategy for CD should be implemented.

      Keywords

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