Celiac.com 12/14/2007 - Celiac & Addison's patients seem to be at greater risk for both diseases. People with celiac disease have a higher risk of developing Addison’s disease, and those with Addison's have a higher risk of developing celiac disease. In both cases, the numbers are far higher than for the general population at large.
Doctors are advising that people with Addison's be screened for celiac disease. However, as Addison’s is still rare overall, they are holding off recommending screening of celiac patients for Addison's. Instead, they are advocating that doctors treating celiac patients maintain a heightened awareness for signs of Addison’s, and to react accordingly.
This latest evidence is the result of a case history review of 15,000 people with celiac disease. The review was conducted by a team of doctors led by one Dr. Peter Elfstrom of Sweden‘s Orebro University Hospital.
A number of studies have shown a link between celiac disease and Addison’s disease, but little has been done to elucidate that connection. And, while this review goes farther than most, the doctors emphasize that the data is strictly preliminary, as they have looked at a relatively small number of cases and tested patients with Addison’s for celiac disease, but not vice versa.
The data show a significant connection between celiac and later development of Addison's disease, citing a hazard ratio of 11.4. The results were the same for both adults and children with celiac, and remained so even after adjustment for diabetes, and the socio-economic conditions of the patients.
Patients with existing Addison's had a significantly higher risk of celiac disease, citing a hazard ratio of 8.6.
The connection between celiac and Addison's was shown to exist both pre- and post-diagnosis for celiac disease. The researchers don’t feel that celiac causes Addison's disease or vice versa, but that they might have related or common genetic traits.
Journal of Endocrin. Metabol. 2007: 3595-3598.