New research on cataract risk and celiac disease.
Celiac.com 07/20/2011 - People with celiac disease commonly have nutritional deficiencies that may leave them at higher risk for developing cataracts, according to a new study, led by Dr. Kaziwe Mollazadegan, of Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. The results of Dr. Mollazadegan's research team were presented in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The population-based cohort study was undertaken in order to to determine the risk of cataract among persons with biopsy-verified celiac disease. The research team included Kaziwe Mollazadegan, Maria Kugelberg, Birgitta Ejdervik Lindblad and Jonas F. Ludvigsson.

For the study, they collected data on celiac disease from reports on small intestinal biopsies performed between July 1969 and February 2008 in the 28 regional pathology departments in Sweden. They then compared those results to data from up to five age- and sex-matched controls for each patient. The team then used Cox regression analysis to estimate cataract risk.

They found 28,756 persons with clinically celiac disease, that is, with confirmed Marsh pathology stage 3 villous atrophy.

For the average follow-up period of about ten years, the researchers found 1,159 cases of cataracts among people with celiac disease, compared with an projection of 909 cases, based on the general population. With a hazard ratio of 1.28, 95% confidence interval: 1.19, 1.36. The team found that the absolute risk of cataract was 397/100,000 person-years for those with celiac disease, with an excess risk of 86/100,000 person-years.

This study confirms that people with celiac disease face a slightly increased risk of developing cataracts, compared with the general population.

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