Celiac.com 11/14/2016 - Diagnosis of celiac disease is often delayed, sometimes into adulthood, but researchers don't have much good data on the possible consequences of such a delay.
There's plenty of data to show that pediatric patients with celiac disease are often short in stature. However, there's very little data on physical features, including height, of adult patients with celiac disease. A team of researchers recently set out to evaluate whether patients suffering from celiac disease are shorter in comparison with the general population without celiac disease. The research team included Abbas Esmaeilzadeh, Azita Ganji, Ladan Goshayeshi, Kamran Ghafarzadegan, Mehdi Afzal Aghayee, Homan Mosanen Mozafari, Hassan Saadatniya, Abdolrasol Hayatbakhsh, and Vahid Ghavami Ghanbarabadi.
All patients were between 18 and 60 years of age. The team compared the height of the study subjects against a group of 657 age- and sex-matched control cases from the healthy population. They then then compared the likely influencing factors on height such as intestinal pathology, serum level of anti-tissue transglutaminase (anti-tTG), serum vitamin D, and hemoglobin level at the time of diagnosis in short versus tall stature patients with celiac disease.
All 65 male and 154 female celiac patients were shorter than their counterparts in the general population "(males: 168.5±8.6 to 171.3±7.2 cm, p less than 0.01 and females: 154.8±10.58 to 157.8±7.2 cm, p less than 0.01). Spearman linear correlation showed height in patient with celiac disease was correlated with serum hemoglobin (p less than 0.001, r=0.285) and bone mineral density (p less than 0.001) and not with serum vitamin D levels (p =0.024, r=0.237), but was not correlated with anti-tTG serum levels (p=0.97)."
Celiac patients with upper and lower quartile of height in men and women had no significant difference in the anti-tTG level and degree of duodenal pathology (Marsh grade). Shorter patients more commonly experienced anemia than taller patients.
Adults with celiac disease are definitely shorter compared with healthy adults. There is a direct correlation between height and anemia and bone mineral density. This study really drives home the importance of early detection and treatment of celiac disease.