"It seems that the increased risk of celiac disease is associated with a permanent inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract in early childhood and is not caused by a specific viral or bacterial pathogen," said Andreas Beyerlein, lead author of the study.
Gluten intolerance is a serious condition that affects many; Image credit: Istock
For the study, the scientists analysed the data of 295,420 children who were born between 2005 and 2007. Medically attended infections from birth until a median age of 8.5 years were considered in the analysis. A total of 853 children developed gluten intolerance.
While the analysis showed that the risk of developing celiac disease is particularly high when gastrointestinal tract infections occur during the first year of life, to a lesser extent, an increased risk of disease was also demonstrated in connection with early respiratory tract infections.