SAN DIEGO — Patients with celiac disease may be less likely to develop non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus or metabolic syndrome, according to data presented at the 2012 Digestive Disease Week Annual Meeting.
Researchers reviewed the charts of 865 patients with celiac disease to determine the presence of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or metabolic syndrome compared with a control group matched according to age, sex and ethnicity.
Within the celiac disease group, 24 patients (2.8%) had NIDDM, compared with 56 patients (7.6%) in the control group (P<.0001). Metabolic syndrome also was significantly less common among patients with celiac disease (2.3% of patients) than the control group (6.4%) (P<.0001).
Patients with NIDDM in both groups were similar according to average age (P=.10), ethnicity (P=1.0) and BMI (P=.55), but patients in the celiac disease group with NIDDM had a significantly higher mean BMI than patients in the same group without NIDDM (31.9 vs. 24.4, P=.005). The frequency of NIDDM increased with BMI among celiac disease patients, but when controlled for BMI, NIDDM remained less frequent among celiac disease patients than in both controls and the general population.
“The prevalence rates of NIDDM and metabolic syndrome are significantly lower in [celiac disease] patients than matched controls and the general population,” the researchers concluded. “One explanation is that [celiac disease] patients tend to be less overweight or obese compared to the general population. However, the prevalence of NIDDM remained significantly lower in celiac patients even after stratifying by BMI category, suggesting alternative mechanisms, including decreased intestinal absorption and endocrine/exocrine alterations.”
Toufic A. Kabbani, MD
Investigators also performed further analysis into the gluten-free diet associated with celiac disease, Toufic A. Kabbani, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, told Healio.com. “We believe the gluten-free diet might be an influential factor in the protectiveness against these two common and morbid diseases,” Kabbani said. “ … We found that the diet is proposed to be protective against type 2 diabetes; however, the number of patients we studied doesn’t reach statistical significance because only five patients with type 2 diabetes developed it after having [the] diet.”
For more information: Kabbani TA. #Sa1308: Is Celiac Disease Protective Against Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus? Presented at: the 2012 Digestive Disease Week Annual Meeting; May 19-22, San Diego.