Abstract OBJECTIVE: Previous studies have shown a high cardiovascular risk in patients with autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Conversely, few data are available about patients with celiac disease (CD). The aim of our study was to assess carotid intima-media thickness (c-IMT), in patients with T1DM, CD or both (T1DM+CD) as compared with age- and sex-matched healthy individuals (H). METHODS: We enrolled 120 patients, 30 with T1DM, 30 with CD, 30 with T1DM+CD and 30 H. Clinical, metabolic and anthropometric data were collected. All T1DM patients were on insulin while all CD patients were on a gluten-free diet. c-IMT was evaluated by high frequency linear digital ultrasound. RESULTS: c-IMT was significantly greater in patients with T1DM+CD than in patients with T1DM or CD (P<0.001 for both), while no difference was found between T1DM and CD. Moreover, c-IMT was greater in CD than in H (P<0.001). Glycemic control and disease duration were similar between T1DM+CD and T1DM. Lipid and anthropometric parameters were similar among groups. Furthermore, in a pooled multivariate analysis, only age and disease type were significantly correlated with c-IMT (P<0.001 for both). CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates that celiac patients have greater c-IMT as compared with healthy individuals. Thus, non-invasive monitoring of c-IMT in CD might be useful in preventing cardiovascular disease. Moreover, patients with T1DM+CD show more severe subclinical atherosclerosis as compared with those presenting T1DM or CD only, suggesting that the association of these autoimmune diseases might accelerate the atherosclerotic process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-535
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • coeliac disease
  • diabetes type 1


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