Celiac disease and immigration in Northeastern Italy: The "drawn double nostalgia" of "cozonac" and "panettone" slices

Sergio Parco, Angelo Città, Fulvia Vascotto, Giorgio Tamaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many investigators consider children's drawings to be an important test in the evaluation of stress and anxiety, but few studies have examined the reliability and validity of indicators of emotional distress in children's projective drawings. In this report, we describe screening tests in children coming to the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in Northeastern Italy from non-European Union regions and suspected to have celiac disease, the problems involved in diagnosis of the disease, and the "drawn double nostalgia" of Romanian children for both Italian food and traditional Romanian foods. Of 3150 Western European cases, we found 712 with positive antibodies for IgA/IgG antitransglutaminase, 174 with a positive antiendomysium antibody confirmation test, and 20 with an IgA deficit. Of the children examined, 93% were children native to Western Europe, 4% were immigrants from Eastern Europe, and 1.6% originated from Africa. Among these, four Romanian children with celiac disease brought in their drawings, as requested in a hospital questionnaire. The prevalence of celiac disease is destined to increase among immigrants. Economic problems are common, and the twin nostalgia of immigrant children for foods and tastes that are "cozonac" (from the native country) and "panettone" (Italian cake flavor) represents a problem that will be difficult to resolve. Only some children's hospitals in Italy, ie, Burlo Garofolo and Gaslini, public and private foundations, or volunteer associations would be able to deal with this problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-125
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Celiac disease
  • Children
  • Drawing
  • Food
  • Immigration
  • Nostalgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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