Iron Supplementation in Children with Celiac Disease

Gaurav Kapur, A. K. Patwari, Shashi Narayan, V. K. Anand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the effect of iron supplementation, in addition to gluten free diet (GFD), on hematological profile of children with Celiac Disease (CD). Methods: Children diagnosed as CD as per modified ESPGAN criteria were prospectively evaluated for their hematological profile at the time of their enrolment and after consuming GFD for at least one year. The results were compared with age and sex matched controls. Evaluation of hematological profile included hemoglobin estimation, complete blood counts, peripheral blood smear examination, serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), and serum ferritin estimation. All the enrolled cases were given iron supplementation in addition to exclusion of gluten from their diet. Repeat intestinal biopsy was performed in all the cases after completing 1 year on GFD. Results: Twenty one children (mean age 6.67 years, range 4-11 years) diagnosed as CD who completed at least one year of regular follow up on GFD (mean 1.5 years, range 1-2 years) were analysed for their hematological profile at the time of enrolment and after consuming GFD and iron supplementation. At the time of enrolment all the children had hemoglobin level <11 gm%, 78% had microcytic hypochromic anemia and 22% had dimorphic anemia, with lower mean MCV, MCH and serum ferritin levels, and a significantly higher-mean TIBC as compared to controls (p < 0.001). In the follow up evaluation of these cases on GFD, mean hemoglobin levels were comparable with controls but the cases continued to have lower mean MCV, MCH serum ferritin levels (p<0.05) and higher mean TIBC (p<0.05). Seven children had mild anemia. Serum ferritin levels showed a negative correlation with the grade of villous atrophy and lamina propria infiltrate. Conclusion: Our results suggest that iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is commonly associated with CD and iron deficiency state continues for a longer time even after excluding gluten from the diet and iron supplementation. Apart from offering them GFD rich in iron, early detection and treatment of IDA and prophylactic iron folic acid supplementation will go a long way to optimize their mental and psychomotor functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-958
Number of pages4
JournalIndian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Celiac disease
  • Gluten free diet
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Iron supplementation


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