Background: Patients with autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes mellitus, atopic dermatitis, autoimmune thyroid diseases, and multiple sclerosis have a different seasonality of month of birth (MOB) from the general population. This study was undertaken to determine the seasonality of MOB in children with celiac disease (CD), an autoimmune-mediated enteropathy.
Patients and Methods: The medical records of 431 children with CD (239 girls, 192 boys) were included in the study; 138 girls and 81 boys were under the age of 24 months. Data were analyzed by the cosinor method, which, in addition to statistical significance, provides parameters of rhythms. Statistical differences between groups were also analyzed by the χ2 test.
Results: Patients with CD showed different patterns from that in the general population, which peaks in September. Boys and girls with CD were found to have a different seasonality of MOB (P < 0.02). Girls whose CD was diagnosed before age 24 months (peak July–August) had a different seasonality of MOB from those whose CD was diagnosed after age 24 months (no rhythm; P < 0.005) and showed a different seasonality from boys whose CD was diagnosed above 24 months (peak July; P < 0.02). In addition, we found a different seasonality of MOB in children with a family history of CD compared with those with no family history (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Girls with the diagnosis of CD and patients of both sexes with a family history of CD have a different pattern of seasonality of birth from the general population. This is suggestive of a perinatal virus infection as a plausible candidate for the primary trigger.
Endocrinology and Diabetes Research Unit, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Tel Aviv University, WHO Collaborating Center for the Study of Diabetes in Youth, Petah Tikva, Israel
Received 20 August, 2007
Accepted 21 February, 2008
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Prof Z. Laron, Endocrinology and Diabetes Research Unit, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, 14 Kaplan St, Petah Tikva 49202, Israel (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors report no conflicts of interest.
This study was performed as partial requirement for the MD degree of Hadas Meirson.