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  • Jefferson Adams

    Comprehensive Review Shows No Higher Rates of Celiac Disease in Osteoporosis Patients

    Jefferson Adams


    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      In order to better estimate celiac risk levels among osteoporosis patients, a team of researchers recently set out to investigate rates of celiac disease among individuals with osteoporosis.


    Caption: Image: CC--i_vaquera

    Celiac.com 08/28/2018 - There have been a number of studies that tried to estimate risk levels for celiac disease in patients with osteoporosis, but the data has been highly variable and inconclusive. To address this, a team of researchers recently set out to investigate rates of celiac disease among individuals with osteoporosis.

    The research team included M. Laszkowska, S. Mahadev, J. Sundström, B. Lebwohl, P. H. R. Green, K. Michaelsson, and J. F. Ludvigsson. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Medicine, Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA, the Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala Clinical Research Center, Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden, the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, the Department of Paediatrics, Örebro University Hospital in Örebro, Sweden, and with the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham in Nottingham, UK. 



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    The team conducted a systematic review of articles that appeared in PubMed, Medline or EMBASE through May 2017 to find studies on rates of celiac disease in patients with osteoporosis. Search terms included “coeliac disease” combined with “fractures”, “bone disease”, “bone density”, “densitometry”, “osteoporos*”, “osteomal*”, “osteodys” or “dexa” or “dxa” or “skelet”. Non‐English papers with English‐language abstracts were included. 

    To confirm their data, the team used fixed‐effects inverse variance‐weighted models, and tested heterogeneity through both subgroup analysis and meta‐regression. They found a total of eight relevant studies, containing data from 3,188 people with osteoporosis. From this group, the team found 59 individuals, or just under 2%, with celiac disease.

    A weighted pooled analysis showed biopsy‐confirmed celiac disease in 1.6% of osteoporosis patients. 

    The team found moderate heterogeneity (I2 = 40.1%), which was influenced by the underlying celiac disease rates in the general population. After adding four studies covering a total of 814 people with celiac disease, based on positive tissue transglutaminase or endomysial antibodies, the pooled rate was comparable (1.6%; 95% CI = 1.2%‐2.0%).

    About 1.6% of people with osteoporosis have biopsy‐verified celiac disease. That’s about the same rate as the general population. Based on this data, the team sees no need to routinely screen osteoporosis patients for celiac disease, contrary to current guidelines. They suggest additional studies to assess the benefits and desirability of such screening programs.

    So, it looks like there’s no reason for people with osteoporosis, or their doctors, to be concerned about celiac disease unless patients shows some physical symptoms or signs.

    Read more in: Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics


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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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