In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease. In 1998 I created The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore!, and I am the co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
Researchers found that people with prior tuberculosis are 2.5 times more likely to get celiac disease than those with no prior tuberculosis. According to lead investigator, Dr. Jonas F. Ludvigsson, of Orebro University Hospital, this indicates that celiac disease is fairly common in individuals who have tuberculosis. It also appears that tuberculosis is in fact more common in those with celiac disease than in those without.
Dr. Ludvigsson and a team of colleagues compared the risk of tuberculosis in more than 4000 patients with celiac disease to that of 69,000 matched individuals in a general population-based study.
The study showed the presence of celiac disease corresponded to about a 3-to-4 times greater risk of subsequent tuberculosis. Similar results were found when the study population was grouped by their gender and age at the time of diagnosis for celiac.
The researchers concluded that celiac disease could affect the action of tuberculosis medication.
Further studies are likely warranted, as the study involved a fairly small number of cases, and only 24 celiac patients had contracted tuberculosis.
Subsequent confirmation of these findings would likely warrant making it standard practice to do serological testing for celiac disease in tuberculosis patients with gastrointestinal symptoms or with apparent drug resistance.
Thorax 2007;62:1-2,23-28.health writer who lives in San Francisco and is a frequent author of articles for Celiac.com.