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Gluten Intolerance May Increase with Age

Celiac.com 11/16/2011 - Researchers still don't know very much about the natural history of celiac disease and whether it may increase or decrease in prevalence over time.

A research team recently set out to determine whether loss of tolerance to gluten may develop at any age, to investigate possible long-term changes in celiac disease prevalence, and to better understand other celiac-related issues.

PPhoto-CC-RamberMediaImagesThe research team consisted of C. Catassi, D. Kryszak, B. Bhatti, C. Sturgeon, K. Helzlsouer, S. L. Clipp, D. Gelfond, E. Puppa, A. Sferruzza, A. Fasano. They are affiliated with the Center for Celiac Research and Mucosal Biology Research Center at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

The team analyzed 3,511 subjects with matched samples from 1974 (CLUE I) and 1989 (CLUE II). For their study, the team chose and followed 3,511 subjects from two large groups of more than 20,000 Americans aged 13-80 in 1974 and 1989.  To see if there was an observable change in rates of celiac disease among the subjects over time, they took blood samples in 1974 and again 15 years later in 1989.

They gave follow-up questionnaires to the subjects every 2 or 3 years from 1996 to 2007 to compile health status updates on the participants. Researchers conducted antibody testing on the blood samples. These tests showed just seven subjects with antibodies specific to celiac disease in 1974, for a disease rate of 1 in 501 subjects.

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By 1989, nine more samples showed markers for celiac disease, for a rate of 1 in 219 subjects; more than double the 1974 rate.

The study also looked at another 804 samples from subjects who died after the 1974 survey and found two more likely cases of celiac disease.  To counter any selection bias regarding survival, the team also assessed 840 CLUE I participants who died after the 1974 survey.

Since the individuals who provided the original samples did not undergo biopsy, and thus cases of celiac disease remain unconfirmed. Also, the study sample was not nationally representative by age, race, and gender, which may also have impacted the findings.

The researchers state that this increase may be partly due to increased awareness of the disease. Still, many cases continue to go undiagnosed. In fact, only 11% of the study subjects who had CD-specific antibodies in both the 1974 and 1989 surveys had actually been clinically diagnosed with the disease by their doctors.

Also, the study found two subjects in their 50s who tested negative in 1974, but positive in 1989, when in their 60s. This indicates that the disease can strike at any age. This finding is supported by a study from Finland that found that celiac disease was more common among the elderly.

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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.

Be sure to let us know how it goes! Help keep them in business by writing a review on Find Me Gluten Free! Enjoy! ?

I'm a naturalist -- I don't use drugs, creams, etc. I do, however, scratch** the rash until I'm almost bleeding and then dump isopropyl alcohol in it -- that relieves the itch for quite some time. (Stings at first though.) I get the rashes on my legs. ANYWAY, I have found that a gluten-free diet is the only (or best) approach -- it's certainly the most natural, in my opinion. It took six months before I felt I was cleansed of gluten. I went nine months (or more) without a rash. Then, I mistakenly ate some soup with barley in it. Got the rash. I let it run its course while getting back to & staying on a gluten-free diet. My best advice is just to stay on a gluten-free diet. Be strong, brave. You can do it! ** I should clarify that when my rashes start itching, I can't help but scratch (excessively). I am not suggesting scratching yourself (with or without cause) as a means to an end. Don't scratch if you can.