Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity Increase Risk of Death
Posted Sep 16 2009 11:03pm
A new study published in this week' s Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) finds that people with mild intestinal inflammation and a
sensitivity to gluten have a greater risk of death even amongst
patients who do not have severe symptoms.This means you could have only mild issues and perhaps not even test positive for celiac disease, yet still have a greater risk of death.
For the study,
Swedish researchers examined tissue biopsies collected from 46,121
patients in Sweden between 1969 and 2008. Amongst the samples, they
found 29,096 patients with celiac disease, 13,306 with inflammation of
the small intestines and an additional 3,719 with latent celiac
disease. For those of you who don' t know, latent celiac refers to
patients who have celiac disease antibodies present in their blood, but
do not show signs of damage to their intestines.
After a median
of 7.2 years follow-up, the researchers determined that the risk of
death increased by 75% for patients with mild intestinal inflammation,
35% for patients with latent celiac or gluten sensitivity and 30% for
patients with diagnosed celiac disease. Amongst the patients with
celiac disease, the most common causes of death were cancer and
In an editorial accompanying the article, Dr. Peter Green of the Celiac Center at Columbia University Medical Center said the most interesting finding was that about patients with latent
celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, largely because the issue has
received little attention in the United States.
He adds that
there is "increasing evidence for [gluten sensitivity] presence in
patients with various neurological disorders and psychiatric problems.
The study....reinforces the importance of celiac disease as a diagnosis
that should be sought by physicians. It also suggests that more
attention should be given to the lesser degrees of intestinal
inflammation and gluten sensitivity."