Cataldo F, Lio D, Simpore J, Musumeci S.
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2002 Aug ;35(2):233-4. No abstract available.
PMID : 12187307 - [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
To the Editors : During the past few years, the incidence of celiac disease has been researched systematically in the Western World, and a very high prevalence has been found (1,2). However, few studies have looked at the prevalence of celiac disease in the developing countries, which in some countries is rare (3) and surprisingly endemic in others (4). These changes in the incidence of a disease of genetically predisposed individuals may relate to environmental factors, for example, different alimentary habits, since wheat foodstuff are not the staple aliments in all developing countries. Moreover, it is not clear whether celiac disease is rare in developing countries because of a lack of predisposing genes or whether the genes are not expressed because wheat foodstuffs are not consumed traditionally. However, these populations have serious problems of malnutrition because of poor and inadequate diets or recurrent gastrointestinal infections. Recently,
Western countries have tried to help these less fortunate populations by sending wheat foodstuffs ; therefore, exposure to gluten food potentially could induce celiac disease in these populations if they are predisposed genetically to gluten intolerance. The Mossi (total population, approximately 5 million), one of the three great ethnic groups in Burkina Faso, live in the central plateau of Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta). They rode north from what is now northern Ghana into the basin of the Volta River and conquered several less powerful people, including the Dagon, Lela, Nuna, and Kurumba. They speak Morè, a language akin to that spoken by the Mamprusi and the Dagombe. In 1897, the first French military explorers arrived in the area and staked French colonial claims. The Mossi are primarily sedentary farmers, raising millet, sorghum maize, sesame, peanuts, and indigo as staples of their diet. During the colonial period, the French exercised a policy of deliberate underdevelopment intended to force Mossi laborers to leave their homes after the harvest and to migrate along the Frenchbuilt railroad to Cote d’Ivoire where they worked in Frenchowned factories and plantations. The direct consequence of these changes was that wheat foodstuff alimentation has become more common than in the past.