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Celiac Disease Shows Similar Presentations in Elderly and Young Adult Populations

Celiac.com 03/12/2010 - A team of researchers recently noted similar presentations of celiac disease in both elder and younger patients. The research team included Rupa Mukherjee, Ikenna Egbuna, Pardeep Brar, Lincoln Hernandez, Donald J. McMahon, Elizabeth J. Shane, Govind Bhagat, and Peter H. R. Green. They are affiliated variously with the Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, the Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, and the Department of Pathology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, and with Columbia University Medical Center's Celiac Disease Center.

It is well known that celiac disease can affect individuals of all ages. However, there have been few studies to focus solely on how celiac disease presents among elderly people. To get a better understanding of how celiac disease presents in the elderly, a research team recently set out to compare aspects of celiac disease from elderly populations with a population of young adults with celiac disease.

The first step was to assemble two groups of patients, an elderly cohort over 65-years old, and a young adult cohort aged 18–30 years, with biopsy-confirmed celiac disease. They did this by reviewing a tertiary center database of celiac disease patients with celiac disease, which provided data on symptom duration, clinical presentation, small intestinal pathology, associated conditions, and the presence of bone disease.

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The team reviewed data on 149 young adult and 125 elderly patients with celiac disease; The elderly subjects comprised 12.4% of the patient database. Both groups showed similar duration of symptoms before diagnosis, with young adults at 5.8 ± 12 years and elderly at 6.14 ± 12.6 years, respectively (p = 0.119).

The presenting symptoms were also basically the same for both groups, with diarrhea being the main presenting symptom in 49% of young adults and 50% of the elderly (p = 0.921). Both groups showed similar rates of autoimmune disease, with 19% of young adult and 26% of elderly patients having relevant autoimmune conditions (p = 0.133). Both groups showed similar presence of villous atrophy and rates of bone disease, while the elderly group showed higher rates of thyroid disease and neuropathy (p = 0.037 and p = 0.023, respectively).

The team expressed surprise that, both clinically and histologically, celiac disease seems to present similarly in elderly and young adult patients. They note that since the exact causes for celiac disease at any given age remain unclear and warrant further study.

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Please share what was so difficult about starting your account.

I'm new here so please forgive me if I'm in the wrong forum. But I could use some clarity and input.. So I'll try to make my story brief as possible? So about 8 months ago I began itching uncontrollably and after going to the Dr for labs she found my liver enzymes were 5x what they should be and was referred to a gastro Dr. Gastrointestinal Dr ran multiple scans, blood work over the next 2 months and referred me to teaching hospital with a " tumor board" apparently I had a mass within my bile ducts that was blocking bile from liver. Was given a grim diagnosis of rare cancer and told would be dead within the year. Then had an endoscopy done to get tissue of the mass and for some reason it had partially resolved and was no longer blocking bile duct. At this point they could not find and cancerous cells. So fast forward 3 months I'm still in pain and had another endoscopy and the biopsy taken showed high possibility of celiacs. The blood work was negative for celiac but after the grim cancerous diagnosis I had been unable to eat for 2 weeks or so and so I'm not sure if that would have skewed the labs?. How could the biopsy show high possibility of celiac? And had anyone heard of celiac causing inflammation in the bile ducts? I have been gluten-free for 6 weeks and have been feeling remarkably better pain in the upper right quadrant is less, and migraines ( I have had for my whole life) have lessened. So all this to say I don't understand celiacs and how to explain it to family. Or how all of a sudden this happens. Ask if anyone can shed any insight I would appreciate it. Blessings

Thank you for taking the time for sharing that info. Don't we have the best disease ever! There's got to be a better way to cut down the scarring. Yes, I've scratched till it bleed. Can't help it. It's like having a bunch of mosquito bites. Yes, only gluten free now. Still have bursts, so probably am being exposed to gluten. Will need to stop dapsone soon. Good luck with your situation.

Best Foods or Hellman's on the East Oast is Gluten free. You can make your own too! Easy! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/mayonnaise-recipe I buy any brand of sugar.

Are you sure you do not have fractures? I fractured two vertebrae two months after my celiac disease diagnosis DOING NOTHING!!!! Turns out I have osteoporosis from untreated celiac disease. ? Consider a bone scan.