shows celiac disease more prevalent today than 50 years ago
of Article: http://members.ift.org/IFT/Pubs/Newsletters/weekly/nl_070109.htm
A study published in Gastroenterology
shows that celiac disease, an immune system reaction to gluten in the
diet, is over four times more common today than it was 50 years ago.
Researchers at the Mayo clinic also found that subjects who did not know
they had celiac disease were nearly four times more likely than
celiac-free subjects to have died during the 45 years of follow-up.
“Celiac disease has
become much more common in the last 50 years, and we don’t know why,”
said Dr. Joseph Murray, the Mayo Clinic Gastroenterologist who led the
study. “It now affects about one in a hundred people. We also have shown
that undiagnosed or ‘silent’ celiac disease may have a significant impact
on survival. The increasing prevalence, combined with the mortality
impact, suggests celiac disease could be a significant public health
The Mayo Clinic
research team tested blood samples gathered at Warren Air Force Base
(AFB) in Wyoming between 1948 and 1954 for the antibody that people with
celiac disease produce in reaction to gluten. They compared those blood
test results with those from two recently collected sets from Olmsted
County, Minn. One matched the ages of those from the 1948–1954 testing at
the time of the blood draw, and the other matched their birth years.
Researchers found that young people today are 4.5 times more likely to
have celiac disease than young people were in the 1950s, while those whose
birth years matched the Warren AFB participants were four times more
likely to have celiac disease.
concluded that the findings highlight the need for increased awareness of
celiac disease, both among physicians and patients.