Study Findings Demonstrate Benefit to Pediatric Celiac Disease Mass Screening

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Aurora, Colo. (May 13, 2024) – Children’s Hospital Colorado’s (Children’s Colorado) Autoimmunity Screening for Kids (ASK) study has released its findings in support of mass screening for pediatric celiac disease. To date, there has been insufficient evidence for recommending mass screening for celiac disease, even though many children who have celiac may not show typical symptoms, which can lead to a delay in diagnosis.

Celiac disease is one of the most common pediatric autoimmune diseases in the United States. The chronic irritation of the small intestine is triggered by exposure to gluten found in food by people predisposed genetically to celiac disease.

While screening studies in Europe have supported similar conclusions, this study is the first to look at outcomes in the United States, providing much-needed data to inform the case for pediatric mass screening for celiac disease.

The ASK study is a pediatric mass screening program for type 1 diabetes and celiac disease in Colorado.  Celiac disease diagnosis and treatment following ASK mass screening led to improvements for potential pediatric mass screening for celiac disease in the United States. A one-year follow-up of children diagnosed with celiac disease through the ASK study, and treated with a gluten-free diet, showed an improvement in symptoms, quality of life and iron deficiency.

The dedication of our study participants and the follow-up and completion of study surveys, despite this study occurring during the pandemic, allowed for a very comprehensive study,” said Marisa Stahl, MD, gastroenterologist at Children’s Colorado and primary author of the study. “Families were very willing to participate and felt positively about the study.”

The study followed 52 children with celiac disease, ages 1-17 years old, who screened positive for antibodies in the ASK study, which prompted further diagnostic evaluation. Children diagnosed with celiac disease by biopsy or by blood testing were also included in this study. Study participant symptoms were carefully monitored, as well as the impact on the family, health-related quality of life and mental health.

“The celiac disease field may be headed towards mass screening in children, and it is studies like ASK that will inform us about the risks and benefits of screening, including how to conduct it in a responsible manner,” said Edwin Liu, MD, pediatric gastroenterologist and director, Colorado Center for Celiac Disease.

Learn more about resources at Children’s Colorado for families with kids managing a new celiac disease diagnosis here.



Children’s Hospital Colorado is one of the nation’s leading and most expansive nonprofit pediatric healthcare systems with a mission to improve the health of children through patient care, education, research and advocacy. Founded in 1908 and ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation as recognized by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s Colorado has established itself as a pioneer in the discovery of innovative and groundbreaking treatments that are shaping the future of pediatric healthcare worldwide. Children’s Colorado offers a full spectrum of family-centered care at its urgent, emergency and specialty care locations throughout Colorado, including an academic medical center on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, hospitals in Colorado Springs, Highlands Ranch and Broomfield, and outreach clinics across the region. For more information, visit or connect with us on FacebookInstagram and YouTube.  

Children’s Hospital Colorado complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Method of Research

Observational study

Subject of Research


Article Title

One-Year Outcomes Among Children Identified With Celiac Disease Through a Mass Screening Program

Article Publication Date


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