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Increasing Incidence of Celiac Disease in a North American Population 04/29/2013 - In an effort to determine the accuracy of claims that rates of celiac disease are on the rise, a team of researchers recently examined rates of celiac disease in a well-defined US county.

Photo: CC--Spatial MongrelThe research team included Jonas F. Ludvigsson, Alberto Rubio-Tapia, Carol T. van Dyke, L. Joseph Melton, Alan R. Zinsmeister, Brian D. Lahr and Joseph A. Murray. They are variously affiliated with the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the Departments of Medicine and Immunology at the College of Medicine of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA, and the Department of Pediatrics of Örebro University Hospital in Örebro, Sweden.

For their population-based study, the team used medical, histopathology, and celiac disease serology records from the Rochester Epidemiology Project to identify all new cases of celiac disease in Olmsted County, Minnesota, USA since 2000.

They then calculated age- and sex-specific incidence rates for celiac disease and adjusted those rates to the US white 2000 population. The team also assessed clinical presentation of celiac disease upon diagnosis.

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Overall, they found 249 cases of celiac disease, 92 cases in men and 157 cases in women, in Olmsted County, between 2000 and 2010. Average patient age was 37.9 years. Once adjusted for age and sex, the overall rate of celiac disease within the time studied was 17.4 (95% confidence interval (CI)=15.2–19.6) per 100,000 person-years. That means an increase of over six percent; from 11.1 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI=6.8–15.5) in 2000–2001. The data show the increase leveling off after 2004.

The data also show that cases of celiac disease with classical symptoms of diarrhea and weight loss decreased over time between 2000 and 2010 (P=0.044).

Overall, rates of celiac disease have continued to rise over the last decade in this North-American population. This study supports the observation that celiac disease rates in America are, in fact, going up.

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7 Responses:

Diana delGiudice
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said this on
29 Apr 2013 9:46:43 AM PST
You should check out Rutland, Vermont and the surrounding area; also your age can be off by a mile! I am 65 and my sister-in-law is 57. We both have this disease as well as many other friends we know. Gluten-free foods are priced out of sight, except deli meats and we are heath food gals (not into deli meats). Personally, I don't even eat breads! It would be nice to have gluten-free stores and updated info. Get with the times! More doctors are needed for this disease and stop with the IBS crap!

Carlena Milligan
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said this on
06 May 2013 7:24:59 AM PST
Yesterday I heard a comment: a father of a friend's doctor told him he was a celiac and good luck. I think he was from N.Y. His daughter is trying to help him. I think stores are better here because Jefferson Adams lives in Santa Rosa.

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said this on
06 May 2013 9:50:38 AM PST
I agree. The price of organics and healthy foods as well as gluten-free and/or allergen-free are such that it is very difficult for one person to eat well to overcome sickness and/or maintain health. Now multiply that by 3--there are 3 people in my family who have gluten and soy intolerance as well as casein allergy--and buying groceries is the single most expensive thing we do. We spend more on our monthly groceries than we do on our bills, like our car, our equiline, our car insurance, our heating bill, our cable/phone bill--in fact, the only thing we pay more on is our mortgage! Prices for organic and allergen-free foods have GOT to start coming down so that regular people can afford them. At the moment, we give up any hopes of taking a vacation so that we can eat well. That doesn't make our teenager very happy.

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said this on
09 May 2013 8:26:49 PM PST
If you save your receipts, you can get tax deductions for buying gluten-free food.

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said this on
06 May 2013 10:08:29 AM PST
There were many close and not so close relatives on both my mom's and dad's sides of the family who had symptoms of celiac disease and some had other autoimmune diseases, going back several generations. I was diagnosed with celiac disease a few years ago. My niece was diagnosed with it last year. And we both have Hashimoto's hypothyroidism. We were the only two who were ever tested for celiac disease. There are a lot of our relatives who have autoimmune thyroid disease, among other ones linked to celiac disease. I believe celiac disease was much more common than thought, but wasn't diagnosed. I had the classic symptoms for as long as I can remember, but no doctor ever suggested celiac disease. I had a hard time even getting a doctor to test me, and had to change doctors to get tested for it. I've been gluten-free since diagnosis.

Doris Fox
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said this on
06 May 2013 5:15:42 PM PST
Would like to thank Diana DelGiudice about the age, for I was found to have celiac disease when I was 66 after suffering a year and losing weight till I got down to 85 lbs. Also the prices for the food it is just completely out of sight no one should have to give almost $6.00 for a loaf of bread that has only 16 slices it in. That is only one example.


said this on
08 May 2013 2:50:55 AM PST
I don't think the incidence is increasing. I think more are becoming aware that their IBS isn't really IBS. I had symptoms since birth but didn't find out it was celiac disease until I was in my 40's. I was never diagnosed with IBS. I live in New York State and the doctors/hospitals are poorly educated on celiac disease. I will now be facing a new challenge with this disease. I am joining the unemployed in this country on May 16th. Since I have to travel at least 45 minutes one way to get a good variety of gluten-free foods, and gas prices being so high, it looks like it's local fruit/veggies for me!

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