Celiac disease is a genetic immune disease that damages the small intestine in people who have difficulty digesting gluten. Damage caused to the small intestine may lead to weight loss, bloating and sometimes diarrhea. In some cases, the brain, nervous system, bones, liver and other organs may be deprived of vital nourishment, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Healio Gastroenterology presents 5 “fast facts” about the disease.
1. Rates of celiac disease increased in the U.S. between 1988 and 2012.
Joseph A. Murray
During 1988 and 2012, the overall prevalence of celiac disease in the U.S. increased and was most common in whites. However, blacks were more likely to adopt a gluten-free diet without a diagnosis of celiac disease. Celiac disease prevalence in the general population from 2009 to 2012 was 0.8% — representing at least 1.5 million individuals nationwide. Read more
2. Celiac disease was not associated with infertility in women.
While concerns have been raised that celiac disease causes infertility, research suggests women with celiac disease do not report fertility problems more often than women without the disease. However, rates were higher in women diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 29 years vs. women in the same age group without celiac disease, with an absolute risk of 0.5% (5.2 per 1,000 person-years). Read more
3. Celiac disease diagnosis increased almost threefold in U.K. children older than 2 years.
Laila J. Tata
Recent research suggests that the clinical diagnoses of celiac disease among children older than 2 years increased nearly threefold within the past 2 decades in the U.K. and is primarily found in less socioeconomically deprived areas. Researchers observed a 39% increase in diagnosis in boys and incidence doubled in girls throughout the study period. Read more
4. Age at first introduction to gluten did not independently predict risk for celiac disease.
According to research published in Pediatrics, the risk factors for celiac disease autoimmunity and celiac disease included presence of genotype HLA DR3-DQ2, residing in Sweden, female gender and a family history of celiac disease. Maternal education level and age at delivery, season of birth and smoking during pregnancy was not associated with celiac disease in newborns. Read more
5. Online intervention increased adherence to gluten-free diet.
A 6-week, interactive online intervention in patients with celiac disease led to increased adherence to a gluten-free diet. Adherence was effectively targeted using behavior change techniques and cognitive behavior therapy strategies previously applied in other areas of health and clinical psychology and across a wide range of illness populations, according to recent research. Read more