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01.12.2016 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

BMC Pediatrics 1/2016

Maternal and perinatal conditions and the risk of developing celiac disease during childhood

BMC Pediatrics > Ausgabe 1/2016
Fredinah Namatovu, Cecilia Olsson, Marie Lindkvist, Anna Myléus, Ulf Högberg, Anneli Ivarsson, Olof Sandström



Celiac disease (CD) is increasing worldwide, which might be due to the changing environmental and lifestyle exposures. We aimed to explore how conditions related to maternity, delivery and the neonatal period influence CD onset during childhood.


Using Sweden’s national registers we had access to information on 1 912 204 children born between 1991 and 2009, 6 596 of whom developed CD before 15 years of age. Logistic regression analyses were performed to determine how CD is associated with maternity, delivery and the neonatal period.


Regardless of sex, a reduction in CD risk was observed in children born to mothers aged ≥35 years (odds ratio [OR] 0.8; 95 % confidence interval [CI] 0.7–0.9) and with high maternal income (OR 0.9; 95 % CI 0.8–0.9). Being a second-born child, however, was positively associated with CD. Among boys, elective caesarean delivery increased the risk of CD (OR 1.2; 95 % CI 1.0–1.4), while maternal overweight (OR 0.9; 95 % CI 0.8-0.9), premature rupture of the membrane (OR 0.4; 95 % CI 0.2–0.8) and low birth weight showed a negative association. Girls had an increased CD risk compared to boys and in girls the risk was increased by repeated maternal urinary tract infections (OR 1.1; 95 % CI 1.0–1.2).


Elective caesarean delivery and repeated maternal urinary tract infections during pregnancy are associated with increased risk of CD onset during childhood, suggesting the role of dysbiosis during early life. High maternal age and high income reduced the risk of CD, which might be due to infant-feeding practices and life style.
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