The study’s purpose was to investigate how common gluten intolerance was in Sweden. Therefore 10 000 children in the 6th grade, from different parts of Sweden, have been invited to the study in 2005-2006 and additionally 10 000 children born in 1997 were invited to the study in 2009-2010. The study was called ETICS- Exploring the Iceberg of Celiacs in Sweden.
Paediatric departments in different parts of Sweden (Umeå, Norrtälje, Norrköping, Växjö, Lund-Malmö) collaborated with schools and their health services. All sixth grade children in these schools were invited by a letter to the parents. In conjunction with a visit to the school health services, the children had their weight and height measured and blood samples were taken. Blood samples were stored at -70°C, and analysed by standardised methods. All samples were analysed for serological markers indicative of CD, and children with suspected disease were referred to a paediatric department for a small intestinal biopsy, and thereafter follow-up according to a standardised protocol. All children were also asked to fill in a questionnaire during school hours, and to take another questionnaire to their parents. This took place after blood-sampling, but before the results were available.
The results of the study were that in 13,279 participating 12-year old children, 240 were diagnosed with coeliac disease.