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Celiac Disease Associated with Asthma Risk

Posted Jul 08 2011 10:08pm

    Researchers have now found a connection between asthma and celiac disease, an autoimmune reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

   Asthma is chronic lung disease that causes the passages of the lungs to become inflamed and narrowed, resulting in wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest area, and coughing. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, more than 22 million people suffer from the condition.

   Many studies have linked asthma to airborne allergens, but doctors have begun to look into food culprits as well. One such study shows a connection to celiac disease, which isn't an allergy but rather an autoimmune response to gluten.

   In a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, European researchers found that celiac individuals were 60 percent more likely to develop asthma than those without the disease.

   Dr. Jonas Ludvigsson of Orebro University Hospital and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and his colleagues compared more than 28,000 Swedish celiac patients to more than 140,000 similar people without the disease. Only a link between the two conditions could be demonstrated, not that one condition causes the other; the researchers weren't able to identify the reason for the association.

   It is recommended that people who suspect they may have celiac disease or asthma should consult with a qualified medical practitioner for testing, diagnosis, and treatment.

Tina Turbin


U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Gluten Free Society: Gluten Sensitivity Increases the Risk for Asthma
Reuters: Asthma linked to celiac disease


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