Celiac.com 01/13/2014 - Researchers have documented stress in patients with various immune-mediated diseases but little is known about stressful life events and the onset of celiac disease from a patient's perspective. 

Photo: CC--bottled voidUsing the standardized interview of Paykel, a team of researchers set out to examine the relationship of stressful events in patients diagnosed with celiac disease, and to compare them with a control group of gastroesophageal reflux patients.

The research team included C. Ciacci, M. Siniscalchi, C. Bucci, F. Zingone, I. Morra, and P. Iovino, of the Department of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Salerno in Italy.

They found that 186 adults (67.2%) with celiac disease reported more frequent and more severe life events in the years prior to the diagnosis, compared with 96 control patients (37.5%, p < 0.001, mean Paykel score 11.5 vs. 13.4, p = 0.001, respectively).

Overall, the time lapse between the event and the diagnosis was about the same for celiac patients (5.5 months) as it was for control patients for (5.7 months).

A total of 20.3% of celiac women considered pregnancy a negative event , but no control women defined pregnancy as a negative event..

Repeat analyses subgroup of patients of both groups with diagnosis made within one year of onset of symptoms confirmed these findings.

Data indicate that, before diagnosis, people with celiac disease faced stressful events that were more frequent, but less severe than in the control group suggesting that life events may impact the clinical appearance of celiac disease or accelerate its diagnosis.

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