COVID-19 Pandemic Perception in Adults With Celiac Disease: An Impulse to Implement the Use of Telemedicine: COVID-19 and CeD

Monica Siniscalchi, Fabiana Zingone, Edoardo Vincenzo Savarino, Anna D'Odorico, Carolina Ciacci



Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes severe complications and deaths all over the world. COVID-19 also has indirect effects from the lockdown and the possible lack of food. We aimed to evaluate the perception of this in Celiac Disease (CeD) patients who require a lifelong gluten-free diet as a therapy.

Methods: We invited by e-mail CeD adult patients from the University of Salerno (Campania, South Italy) and the University of Padua (Veneto, North Italy) to answer an ad hoc COVID-19 survey.

Results: We sent the web survey to 651 email addresses and we received 276 answers (42,4%). CeD patients did not feel more vulnerable because they had CeD (not at all 56.6%)and they did not worry much about the possible shortness of gluten-free food during the epidemic(not at all 48.5%)The most worried were the elderly patients, patients with other comorbidities and females. Finally, CeD patients were happy with remote consultations and explicitly asked to have them.

Discussion: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted a proportion of patients with CeD; in particular, women, elderly patients, patients with other comorbidities. COVID-19, although a challenging experience from the medical and the psychological point of view, has offered an opportunity to practice, on a large-scale, a remote consultation approach for CeD healthcare.

Fig. 1 COVID-19 survey: Data analyzed according to age-groups.
Fig. 2 COVID-19 survey: Data analyzed according to the presence of other chronic diseases besides celiac disease.

Siniscalchi M, Zingone F, Savarino EV, D’Odorico A, Ciacci C. COVID-19 pandemic perception in adults with celiac disease: an impulse to implement the use of telemedicine: COVID-19 and CeD [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 16]. Dig Liver Dis. 2020;10.1016/j.dld.2020.05.014. doi:10.1016/j.dld.2020.05.014