IrSPEN 2022 Award for Best Overall Research Project, BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics (join Trinity-TU Dublin) programme

Lizzie (Yelizaveta) Shkrabalyuk has been awarded the prize for best overall research project 2022 for her final year project in the BSc Human Nutrition & Dietetics course 2021. Lizzie is a CORU registered dietitian who graduated this year with a BSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Technological University Dublin and Trinity College Dublin.

Lizzie’s research is based on coeliac disease, a condition estimated to affect approximately 1-1.7% of the Irish population, with a higher prevalence rate amongst first-degree relatives. However, not all first-degree relatives of individuals with coeliac disease tested for the disease. To expand on this issue, she conducted a survey in collaboration with the Coeliac Society of Ireland. The study asked people with coeliac disease if their family members had been tested for coeliac disease or diagnosed with the condition. The results, based on 680 people, showed that only approximately 30% of family members were tested for coeliac disease, and 10% were diagnosed. Although this is a higher diagnosis rate than in the general population, it is expected from other similar literature. Many cases, however, may remain undiagnosed due to the lack of testing, feeding into the concept of the “coeliac iceberg”. These findings are important, given that the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) recommends the referral of first-degree relatives of individuals of coeliac disease for testing.

A special thank you to Associate Professor, Maria O’Sullivan for overseeing this award each year on IrSPEN’s behalf.