Celiac.com 11/16/2011 - Researchers still don't know very much about the natural history of celiac disease and whether it may increase or decrease in prevalence over time.

A research team recently set out to determine whether loss of tolerance to gluten may develop at any age, to investigate possible long-term changes in celiac disease prevalence, and to better understand other celiac-related issues.

PPhoto-CC-RamberMediaImagesThe research team consisted of C. Catassi, D. Kryszak, B. Bhatti, C. Sturgeon, K. Helzlsouer, S. L. Clipp, D. Gelfond, E. Puppa, A. Sferruzza, A. Fasano. They are affiliated with the Center for Celiac Research and Mucosal Biology Research Center at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

The team analyzed 3,511 subjects with matched samples from 1974 (CLUE I) and 1989 (CLUE II). For their study, the team chose and followed 3,511 subjects from two large groups of more than 20,000 Americans aged 13-80 in 1974 and 1989.  To see if there was an observable change in rates of celiac disease among the subjects over time, they took blood samples in 1974 and again 15 years later in 1989.

They gave follow-up questionnaires to the subjects every 2 or 3 years from 1996 to 2007 to compile health status updates on the participants. Researchers conducted