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Celiacs, the diagnosis increases. Gluten-free foods available for free by the National Health Service

Celiac disease is a permanent condition in which the affected subject must strictly exclude gluten from his diet. This disease, now classified as a chronic disease, develops in genetically predisposed individuals and affects about 1% of the population.

From the epidemiological mapping, 198,427 celiacs are diagnosed in Italy.

Celiac disease is more affecting women (138.902) than men (59.525).

One year after the entry into force of the new diagnostic protocol, comparing the data in the three-year period 2014-2016, there emerges an increase in the most thorough diagnoses, perhaps encouraged by greater awareness but also by new scientific directions. In 2016 the total number of new diagnoses was 15,569, more than 5,000 more diagnoses than the previous year.

The new decree on supplementary health care for food products for celiacs (DM of 17 May 2016) provides that today the only type of gluten-free food that can be provided free of charge by the National Health Service for celiacs is that identifiable on the label by the wording " gluten-free "accompanied by the indication" specifically formulated for people intolerant to gluten "or, alternatively," gluten-free "accompanied by the indication" specifically formulated for celiacs "and included in the National Register of gluten-free products, available on the Ministry website of health.

"In Italy, the Ministry of Health with its institutional activities is heavily involved in the issue of celiac disease through constant and laborious collaboration with the Regions and the Autonomous Provinces.In particular this year several interventions aimed at guaranteeing celiac disease have been carried out. during the diagnostic process, sharing with the Regions the minimum technical, professional and organizational requirements for the identification of health authorities in charge of the diagnosis of celiac disease This initiative was supported by a laborious and articulated technical-legislative work of regulatory compliance purposes of protecting the vulnerability of celiacs also on the alimentary level ".

This was written by Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin in the preface of the 2016 annual celiac disease report sent to Parliament on 16 January 2018.