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    Scott Adams

    Undiagnosed Celiac Disease Increases Risk of Adverse Fetal Outcome

    Scott Adams


    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Gastroenterology, Volume 129, Issue 2, Pages 454-463 (August 2005)

    Celiac.com 08/11/2005 - A large study by Swedish and American researchers has determined that untreated celiac disease is associated with an increased risk of adverse fetal outcome. In contrast to several small studies that have been done in the past that produced conflicting results, this study looked at 2,078 births to women who were diagnosed with celiac disease—1,149 were diagnosed prior to their child’s birth, while 929 were diagnosed after. The researches employed a national register-based cohort study (1964-2001) that was restricted to women between 15-44 years old who had a single live birth. The researchers measured intrauterine growth retardation, low birth weight, very low birth weight, preterm birth, very preterm birth and birth by caesarean section for each child in the study.



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    The results of the study indicate that undiagnosed celiac disease is associated with an increased risk of intrauterine growth retardation (OR = 1.62; 95% CI: 1.22-2.15), low birth weight (OR = 2.13; 95% CI: 1.66-2.75), very low birth weight (OR =2.45; 95% CI: 1.35-4.43), preterm birth (OR = 1.71; 95% CI: 1.35-2.17), and caesarean section (OR = 1.82; 95% CI: 1.27-2.60). In contrast, those diagnosed with celiac disease before their births were not at increased risk for these adverse fetal outcomes.

    The researchers conclude that undiagnosed celiac disease increases the risk of unfavorable fetal outcomes—a risk that is reduced in those with diagnosed celiac disease, presumably because they have been treated with a gluten-free diet.


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    Celiac.com's Founder and CEO, Scott was diagnosed with celiac disease  in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. Scott launched the site that later became Celiac.com in 1995 "To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives."  In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

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