Background Nutritional deficiencies are common in patients with coeliac disease and they can cause osteopenia among other associated diseases. Reduced consumption of milk and dairy products may play a major role in determining low bone mass in patients with coeliac disease.
Aim We aimed to investigate milk and dairy products consumption in patients with coeliac disease compared with the general population.
Methods We examined the average consumption of milk and dairy products and the reasons for not consuming them. An online survey was sent by email to patients with coeliac disease on a gluten-free diet and aged 18–75. Matched controls were selected among volunteers who responded to the survey posted on the public access sites. Differences in frequencies and means between the two groups were calculated using the χ2 test and t-test, respectively. All tests were two-tailed with a significance level set at p<0.05.
Results 176 patients with coeliac disease and 528 controls participated in the study. We found that 22.2% of the patients with coeliac disease and 19.9% of controls did not drink fluid milk on a regular basis; lactose-free milk was preferred by 20.4% of the patients with coeliac disease and by 19% of controls (p=0.69). Only a minority of patients with coeliac disease contacted a doctor before having lactose-free milk, despite this being led by the presence of gastrointestinal symptoms. More patients with coeliac disease than the general population reported a breath test before avoiding milk and dairy products.
Conclusions There is no significant difference between patients with coeliac disease and controls in regular milk consumption. Follow-up visits for patients with coeliac disease could avoid unnecessary dietary restrictions.
- coeliac disease
- dairy products
- gastrointestinal symptoms
- lactose-free milk
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Contributors FZ and CC designed and performed the research and wrote the paper. FZ and PI analysed data. CB performed the research and reviewed the paper. All authors accepted the final version of the paper.
Funding The authors declare that they received a grant from Fondazione Celiachia (grant no. 008_FC_2015).
Disclaimer CONSORT 2010: the authors declare that the CONSORT 2010 statement guideline has been adopted.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval The study was approved by the by the Ethics Committee of the University of Salerno Campania Sud aut. No 25, 25.4.2015.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement Data set is available from the last author at firstname.lastname@example.org. Consent for data sharing was obtained. All the data were anonymised, and risk of identification is inconsistent.
Author note Core tip: we examined the average consumption of milk and dairy products and the reasons for not consuming them in patients with coeliac disease compared with controls. We found that there is no significant difference between patients with coeliac disease and controls in the regular milk consumption.
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