Celiac.com 04/23/2009 - Celiac disease is far more common among people of European descent, especially northern European descent, than among other populations. In East Asia, including China, there have been only sporadic reports of celiac disease. Historically, celiac disease has been only rarely reported in Asia.

Due to the absence of reports, and since Asian diets are traditionally low in wheat, barley or rye, it has been taken as a given that Asian populations don't really suffer from celiac disease. Still, there have been no comprehensive studies undertaken to verify this notion.

Recently, a team of Chinese researchers set out to put that assumption to the test, and to determine if celiac disease is as rare in China as presently believed.

The team was made up of L. L. Jiang, B.L. Zhang, and Y.S. Liu. of the department of Gastroenterology, the First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310003, China.

The team performed capsule endoscopy on 62 patients with chronic diarrhea from June 2003 to March 2008. Four of those patients were clinically diagnosed with celiac disease. Endoscopy of these patients revealed classic signs of celiac disease: shortened