Digestive Disease Week

Digestive Disease Week

June 04, 2018
1 min read

Undiagnosed celiac disease more common in women

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WASHINGTON — Women in the general population are more likely to have undiagnosed celiac disease, and the difference is even more pronounced in younger girls, according to data presented at Digestive Disease Week.

Claire L. Jansson-Knodell, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn., said that while previous studies have suggested that diagnosed celiac disease is more prevalent in women, there has been a lack of studies that have focused on sex-based differences in undiagnosed populations.

“There is a known female predominance in diagnosed celiac disease,” Jansson-Knodell said in a presentation. “What is unknown is if that [sex] disparity extends to undiagnosed or undetected populations identified through screening studies.”

Jansson-Knodell conducted a meta-analysis of studies that performed both a screening and confirmatory test – either a second serological study or a small intestine biopsy – and that provided clear and complete data regarding sex. The researchers identified 88 studies that met their inclusion criteria, which included data on 299,629 patients.

The investigators discovered that women (0.589%) had a higher rate of undetected celiac disease than men (0.415%; RR = 1.42; 95% CI, 1.27-1.57; P < .00001).

The researcher also analyzed data from several subgroups, including one that focused on children. They found that undiagnosed celiac disease was more prevalent in girls (0.917%) than in boys (0.512%; RR = 1.79; 95% CI, 1.44-2.22; P < .0001).

Jansson-Knodell and colleagues said their findings could impact clinical screening, diagnosis and management of celiac disease, and suggested that physicians might want to have a higher suspicion for the diagnosis of celiac disease in women and girls. – by Alex Young


Jansson-Knodell CL, et al. Abstract 579. Presented at: Digestive Disease Week; June 2-5, 2018; Washington, D.C.

Disclosures: Jansson-Knodell reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the DDW faculty disclosure index for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.