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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 21, 2016

In children with autoimmune thyroid diseases the association with Down syndrome can modify the clustering of extra-thyroidal autoimmune disorders

  • Tommaso Aversa , Mariella Valenzise , Andrea Corrias , Mariacarolina Salerno , Lorenzo Iughetti , Daniele Tessaris , Donatella Capalbo , Barbara Predieri , Filippo De Luca EMAIL logo and Malgorzata Wasniewska



It is known that the association with Down syndrome (DS) can affect the phenotypic expression of autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs), whilst is unknown whether the clustering of extra-thyroidal autoimmune diseases (ETADs) may also be atypical in DS children.


The aim of this study was to investigate the clustering of ETADs in 832 children with AITDs divided in two groups with or without DS (A and B, respectively) and in four subgroups of patients aged either <6 or ≥6 years.


The rate of children with ETADs was significantly higher in Group A; in particular, alopecia areata (p=0.00001) and vitiligo (p=0.00001) were found more often in Group A irrespective of age, whilst the distribution of T1 diabetes mellitus was not different in the two groups. Celiac disease prevalence was significantly higher in DS patients only in the older subgroup.


The association with DS may be able to modify the clustering of ETADs in the children with AITDs by favoring the aggregation of some specific diseases such as alopecia areata and vitiligo.

Corresponding author: Prof. Filippo De Luca, MD, Dipartimento di Patologia Umana dell’Adulto e dell’Età Evolutiva, Policlinico Universitario di Messina, Via Consolare Valeria, 98125 Messina, Italy, Phone: +39 090 2213157, Fax: +39 090 2212143, and Department of Human Pathology of Adulthood and Childhood, University of Messina, Messina, Italy

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


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Received: 2016-2-26
Accepted: 2016-6-8
Published Online: 2016-7-21
Published in Print: 2016-9-1

©2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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