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    Bone Fracture Risk Double for Celiac Disease Patients


    Jefferson Adams
    Image Caption: Photo: Wikimedia Commons--Thomas Bjorkin

    Celiac.com 11/17/2014 - There is a large body of data that show that celiac disease is associated with metabolic bone disorders, such as low bone mineral density. However, it is unclear whether this translates into an association between celiac disease and such hard clinical outcomes as bone fractures.


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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons--Thomas BjorkinA research team set out to systematically review and pool the data to better understand the nature of the relationship between celiac disease and the prevalence and incidence of bone fractures.

    The research team included Katriina Heikkilä, Jo Pearce, Markku Mäki, and Katri Kaukinen. They are variously affiliated with the Departments of Internal Medicine at Seinäjoki Central Hospital and Tampere University Hospital, Finland, the School of Medicine at the University of Tampere, Finland, the Tampere Centre for Child Health Research at University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital, Finland, and with the Division of Nutritional Sciences, School of Biosciences at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

    For their study, they conducted a systematic search of Pubmed, Scopus, Web of Science and Cochrane Library in January 2014 for studies of celiac disease and bone fractures. They included observational studies of any design which compared bone fracture outcomes in individuals with and without celiac disease. Two investigators then independently gathered results from eligible studies.

    A meta-analyses of case-control and cross-sectional studies showed that bone fractures were almost twice as common in individuals with a clinically diagnosed celiac disease as in those without celiac disease. A meta-analyses of prospective studies showed that celiac disease at baseline was associated with a 30% increase (95% CI: 1.14, 1.50) in the risk of any fracture and a 69% increase in the risk of hip fracture (95% CI: 1.10, 2.59).

    Two studies of patients with high concentrations of celiac disease-specific autoantibodies, but no celiac disease diagnosis, produced contradictory findings. The results of this study suggest that people with clinically diagnosed celiac disease face a greatly increased risk of hip fractures, and of fractures in general.

    Further research is needed to determine whether unrecognized celiac disease carries a similar risk of bone fractures.

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    Does this continue to be the case if the patient is strictly adhering to the gluten-free diet? Does their risk lessen?

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.

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