Celiac disease (CD) is a prevalent chronic disorder that can have serious medical and psychological consequences for children who have it. In this study, scientists aimed at describing the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in a large sample of pediatric patients with newly diagnosed CD using the PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales and compared it to those of healthy children and children with nonceliac GI disorders using historical data. The PedsQL was given to 159 newly diagnosed CD children and their parents at the time of their diagnostic esophagogastroduodenoscopy or before their initial dietitian session for gluten-free diet training. Parental and self-report averages PedsQL summary and subscale scores were computed and compared to published averages from a healthy kid sample and a nonceliac GI symptoms sample using 1-sample t-tests. 

Those with newly diagnosed CD showed worse Total Scores, Physical Health, Psychosocial Health, Emotional Functioning, and School Functioning when compared to healthy children, with comparable outcomes on self-report (P < 0.008). Clinically significant scores for School Functioning were reported in 55.9% of the CD sample, 62.7% for Physical Health, 54.4% for Emotional Functioning, 43.7% for Social Functioning, and 49% for Total Score.

Children and adolescents with newly diagnosed Celiac disease reported worse HRQOL than healthy children and HRQOL equivalent to those with non-celiac GI disorders. Patients who have deficiencies in areas such as school or emotional functioning may benefit from early treatments such as a Section 504 plan or a visit with a psychologist or social worker.