Our objective was to assess the frequency of coeliac disease in children with associated disorders in the province of "Zuid-Holland". The Netherlands. We therefore screened 115 children with Down's syndrome, 62 children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and 46 children with diabetes mellitus for CD using the IgA-class of antigliadin, antiendomysium and antireticulin antibodies in serum, and a functional sugar absorption test. The antiendomysium antibody test was the screening test that performed the best. Every patient who has at least one positive test underwent a jejunal biopsy for the diagnosis of CD. No association could be demonstrated between CD and diabetes mellitus. The frequency of CD in Down's syndrome was 7.0%, which is much higher than that found from screening the general population. CD was found in one child with JRA (1.5%), who also had Down's syndrome. We recommend screening for CD in all persons with Down's syndrome using at least the antiendomysium antibody test.