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Delayed Diagnosis of Celiac Disease Associated with Shorter Adult Height in Men

Celiac.com 09/13/2008 - Men who are diagnosed with celiac disease in adulthood tend to be shorter than those diagnosed and treated in childhood.

A team of Israeli researchers led by Dr. Batia Weiss and colleagues recently set out to compare the adult height of people with celiac disease who were diagnosed and treated as children, against the height of those diagnosed as adults. The researchers analyzed the height of 290 patients—83 men and 207 women. Patients were grouped according to age at diagnosis. The 113 patients of group 1 were diagnosed before age 18 years, while the 177 patients of group 2 were diagnosed after age 18 years.

The average adult height was 178.4 cm for men of group 1, and 176.3 cm for men of group 2, (p = 0.22). The height Z scores for men were 0.22 for group 1 and -0.08 for group 2 (p = 0.022). Researchers noted a significant inverse relationship between the age of the men at celiac disease diagnosis and their final adult height.

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For women, average adult height was 163.0 cm for group 1 and 162.6 cm for group 2, (p = 0.68). Height Z scores were -0.05 for the women of group 1 and -0.11 for the women of group 2 (p = 0.68). Researchers noted no significant relationship between age at diagnosis and final height in women.

The exact reasons for these gender-related height differences remain unknown. They may have to do with variations in timing and duration of growth in puberty, the increased nutritional demands of adolescent men, or gender-related hormonal differences.

Regardless of the exact reasons for these results, this study is just the latest of many to drive home the importance of early detection and treatment of celiac disease for everyone.

American Journal of Gastroenterology 2008; 103:1770-1774.

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1 Response:

 
Maria Elena Martinez
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said this on
30 Sep 2008 7:46:18 PM PDT
Awesome!!!




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We have gone gluten free, our whole house, as of a month ago. It was pretty seamless since I had been gluten-free for 5 months last year. I have found many good recipes, and my picky husband and one of my boys who is also a picky eater, even prefer many gluten-free recipes to the regular ones. My husband did see my point about the size of the gluten protein means nothing. Its a gluten protein period, that's what you are avoiding. It doesn't matter if its hiding in the scratch of your baking sheet and you can't see it. You can't see the wind, but it's still there. I hear you on the anemia. I've been anemic for several years, I just thought it as because I was getting a little older. Has your anemia gone away or do you still have problems with it?

Ennis, it is made out of metal, coated with plastic I think. You have such a hard time, my heart really hurts for you. But you are such a support to those on this board, and a great teacher for those of us who are new.

Thanks everyone! I think its hard for people to fully accept because they cant see the damage it does every time you get glutened. It's invisible. Im glad to know I wasnt being paranoid. I sure was when I was first diagnosed. I laugh at myself now, but its a pretty steep learning curve.

FYI......anxiety is a common symptom with celiac disease and NCGI. It seems to resolve on a gluten-free diet. ?

Yes, I will definitely update you and would love to hear what your experience is. I'm glad I found this forum because you're right--it's nice to not feel so alone. I'm also prone to anxiety--so waiting and worrying is not fun! Cyclinglady, thanks for sharing your experience as well. I do plan to maintain a gluten-free diet for a while at least if the biopsy is negative just to see how I feel.