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  • Jefferson Adams

    Patients with Celiac Disease Have Lower Rates of Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus and Metabolic Syndrome

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 05/27/2013 - A team of researchers recently investigated whether celiac disease influences risk for non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and metabolic syndrome. To do so, they examined the prevalence of NIDDM and metabolic syndrome among adults with celiac disease, compared with healthy matched control subjects.

    Photo: CC--bodytelThe research team included Toufic A. Kabbani, Ciaran P. Kelly, Rebecca A. Betensky, Joshua Hansen, Kumar Pallav, Javier A. Villafuerte–Gálvez, Rohini Vanga, Rupa Mukherjee, Aileen Novero, Melinda Dennis, and Daniel A. Leffler.



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    They are variously affiliated with the Celiac Center, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

    For their study, the team assessed medical records of 840 patients with biopsy-proven celiac disease for diagnoses of NIDDM, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia; body mass index (BMI); lipid profile; and levels of glucose or glycosylated hemoglobin, to identify those with metabolic syndrome.

    They matched 840 healthy control subjects for age, sex, and ethnicity. They then compared rates of NIDDM and metabolic syndrome in the celiac disease cohort with that of the controls and subjects included in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

    The team found that 26 patients with celiac disease (3.1%) had NIDDM compared with 81 controls (9.6%) (P less than .0001).

    Similarly, patients with celiac disease had lower rates of metabolic syndrome compared with the control group (3.5% vs 12.7%; P less than .0001).

    The average BMI of patients with celiac disease was substantially lower than the BMI of control subjects (24.7 vs 27.5; P less than .0001).

    However, even after controlling for BMI, celiac disease patients still had a lower risk of developing NIDDM, compared with non-celiac patients.

    From this study, the team concludes that rates of NIDDM and metabolic syndrome are lower among patients with celiac disease than in matched controls and the general population.

    These differences are not explained by differences in BMI. Further study is important so that researchers can determine exactly how celiac disease affects the risk for NIDDM and metabolic syndrome.

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    Coming from another angle - approximately 1:10 people living with Type 1 diabetes also have celiac disease. The rate of celiac disease in this diagnosed group is incredibly high. If you are living with Type 1 diabetes, it is important to screened for celiac disease throughout your lifetime by your health care provider.

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    Guest Peggy Detmers

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    My type one diabetes went away on going gluten-free, and even going farther by going on the Paleo diet which removes most all seed/lentil/grain consumption. My diabetes is no longer detectable!

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    Makes me feel a little better about having celiac disease. I did have pre diabetes, but the last three blood tests came out normal. Hopefully that will continue.

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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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