Looking for coeliac disease hiding in the family

Nicola Robson and Andrew S Day
Med J Aust 2023; 219 (8): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.52116
Published online: 16 October 2023

Coeliac disease is an immune‐mediated enteropathy, triggered in genetically susceptible people by dietary gluten.1 Diagnosis has historically been based on positive serological test results (such as elevated anti‐tissue transglutaminase [tTG] or endomysial antibody levels) together with characteristic histological features identified by small bowel biopsy in people with typical symptoms. However, serological diagnosis (without small bowel biopsy) may be considered in children.2 In Australia, an estimated 1.2% of men and 1.9% of women have coeliac disease,3 while an electoral roll‐based study determined a rate of 1.2% in Christchurch, New Zealand.4 Both figures are consistent with the estimated pooled global prevalence of 1.4%.5

  • 1 Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 2 University of Otago Christchurch, Christchurch, New Zealand



Andrew Day's research activities are supported by Cure Kids.

Competing interests:

Andrew Day has received speaking fees from AbbVie.

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