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A doctoral thesis analyzes celiac disease from the social point of view
02 October 2012
Cristina Pelegrí Calvo, associate professor in the Facultat de Farmàcia’s Departament de Medicina Preventiva - Universitat de València, has defended her doctoral thesis, which analyzes celiac disease from the social point of view. The work both revises celiacs’ health and social conditions and alerts on the need to make an early diagnosis of the disease. It is titled ‘Evaluación del estado de salud y nutricional de pacientes celíacos de la Comunidad Valenciana’ (Assessment of the health and nutritional conditions of celiac patients in the Valencian Community) and it has been supervised by José Miguel Soriano del Castillo and Jordi Mañes Vinuesa.
This four-year long study opens a new research line in the Valencian Community since it not only considers an anthropometric and nutritional analysis but it also studies the celiac disease from the social point of view. The thesis received the ‘cum laude’ distinction.
Cristina Pelegrí, working at the nutrition and bromatology areas stresses that ‘for the first time in Spain, an internationally validated and adapted survey has been filled in by 166 patients, both adults and children. This survey gathered interesting data about the delay in the diagnosis -mainly in adults, the possible causes triggering the disease, and the social aspects related to gluten-free diet.’
Late diagnosis is related to pathologies which are not common in early diagnosed patients. These pathologies include osteoporosis and osteopenia, hypoplasia in the tooth enamel, depression or repeated miscarriages. They have also been stressed the disadvantages of the only treatment for the disease, the free-gluten diet, like having to travel with free-gluten aliments, the difficulties of going out to restaurants, etc.
The doctoral thesis also carries out an anthropometric analysis on the surveyed patients. For instance, a growth’s reduction in children from the earliest age to adolescence has been detected.