Twenty two treated adult patients with coeliac disease (aged 20-70 years) were examined. Body composition was assessed from anthropometry and directly measured by dual photon absorptiometry. Bone mineral content was measured in the spine (dual photon absorptiometry) and at two forearm sites (single photon absorptiometry). Compared with age matched healthy subjects, treated coeliac patients had lower body mass index (-5%, p less than 0.05) and lower directly measured total body fat mass (-30%, p less than 0.001). They also had decreased bone mineral content (-9 to -13%, p less than 0.01) in the spine and in the forearms. The serum concentrations of albumin, D vitamin binding protein, and iron were reduced (-6 to -22%, p less than 0.01), but otherwise blood and urine analyses were normal. We conclude that this group of treated adult coeliac patients had a reduced fat mass and bone mineral content compared with the general population.
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