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Celiac Disease Does Not Affect Fertility in Women

Gastroenterology, 2005; 128: 849-855

Celiac.com 04/29/2005 – In contrast to previous studies, the findings of a study by researchers in the United Kingdom indicate that women with celiac disease do not have an increased risk of infertility. Their study compared computerized primary care data on 1,521 women with celiac disease, and, unlike past studies, compared that data with 7,732 age and practice-matched women without celiac disease. They found that fertility rates were 48.2 live births per 1,000 person-years for women without celiac disease, while those with the disease had 47.7 live births. Interestingly the researchers found that women with celiac disease had lower fertility rates when they were younger, and higher rates when they were older, compared to the non-celiac group, and the increase in fertility seen in older women with the disease was not affected by whether they were on a gluten-containing vs. gluten-free diet. The researchers noted a slightly higher risk of miscarriage and delivery by cesarean section in the group of women with celiac disease, while all other negative outcomes occurred at a level similar to that of the healthy control group. The researchers conclude that women with celiac disease have similar fertility rates to that of the normal female population, and they tend to have their babies at an older age.

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