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Celiac Disease and Iron Deficiency Linked in Caucasians, but Not Non-Caucasians

07/29/2013 - Rates of celiac disease in Caucasian populations of European origin are pretty well documented, but little is known about its prevalence in non-Caucasians.

Also, data shows that celiac disease is one likely cause of iron-deficiency anemia, but little is known about how celiac disease might contribute to iron deficiency in Caucasians, and especially non-Caucasians.

A team of researchers recently looked at for links between celiac disease and iron deficiency in both caucasians and non-caucasians.

The study team included Joseph A. Murray, Stela McLachlan, Paul C. Adams, John H. Eckfeldt, Chad P. Garner, Chris D. Vulpe, Victor R. Gordeuk, Tricia Brantner, Catherine Leiendecker–Foster, Anthony A. Killeen, Ronald T. Acton, Lisa F. Barcellos, Debbie A. Nickerson, Kenneth B. Beckman, Gordon D. McLaren, and Christine E. McLaren.

To find individuals with iron deficiency and to determine celiac disease rates, the team assessed samples collected from participants in the Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening study. They looked at blood samples from white men 25 years or older and women 50 years or older who participated in the Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening study.

Photo: CC--Wikimedia CommonsIndividuals with serum ferritin levels ≤12 μg/L were group as iron deficient, while those with serum ferritin levels >100 μg/L in men and >50 μg/L in women served as a control group.

The team analyzed all samples for human recombinant tissue transglutaminase immunoglobulin A; positive results were confirmed by an assay for endomysial antibodies.

The team assessed patients with positive results from both celiac disease tests as having untreated celiac disease. They excluded from analysis all subjects with a positive result from only one of the two tests.

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They analyzed HLA genotypes and frequencies of celiac disease between Caucasians and non-Caucasians with iron deficiency.

In all, the team found 14 cases of celiac disease among the 567 study subjects (2.5%), and just 1 case of celiac disease among the 1136 control subjects (0.1%; Fisher exact test, P = 1.92 × 10−6). The case of celiac disease in the control group was in a Caucasian control subject. There were no cases of celiac disease found in non-Caucasian controls.

All 14 of the cases of celiac disease found by the team were in the Caucasian group of 363 (4%). There were no cases of celiac disease in the non-Caucasian group of 204 cases (P = .003).

Overall, individuals with iron deficiency were 28-times more likely to have celiac disease (95% confidence interval, 3.7–212.8) than were healthy control subjects. Also, and interestingly, 13 of 14 cases with celiac disease carried the DQ2.5 variant of the HLA genotype.

This study shows that celiac disease is linked with iron deficiency in Caucasians. In fact, among Caucasians, celiac disease is rare among individuals without iron deficiency.

It also shows that celiac disease is rare among non-Caucasians—even among individuals with common features of celiac disease, such as iron deficiency.

The study team recommends that doctors conduct celiac screening on men and postmenopausal women with iron deficiency.

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2 Responses:

 
bonnie
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said this on
09 Sep 2013 12:11:39 PM PDT
I have recently been diagnosed with both celiac and iron anemia. Thought this was interesting because I didn't realize there might be a link between the two.

 
annb
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said this on
15 Apr 2014 7:01:27 PM PDT
I have iron deficient anemia. My blood test for celiac was negative; however, I've been mostly gluten free for about a year. I am scheduled for a colonoscopy and upper GI as my doctor suspects celiac. I'm 67. As I look bad I suspect I've had celiac disease for many years. I think my mother had it too. This site is such a blessing.




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you're lucky you dont catch colds. im the opposite i catch everything very easily and get alot sicker than whoever i caught it from and take much longer to get better.

Even one positive can be diagnostic. This is one: Gliadin deamidated peptide IgG 33.9. If unsure, a biopsy of the small intestine will provide definite confirmation. There is a control test to validate the other ones, but I don't see it there. What is does is validate the others by checking on the overall antibody levels. But it is to detect possible false negatives. A positive is a positive. I think your daughter has joined our club.

My daughter, almost 7 years old, recently had a lot of blood work done, her Dr is out of the office, but another Dr in the practice said everything looked normal. I'm waiting for her Dr to come back and see what she thinks. I'm concerned because there is one abnormal result and I can't find info to tell me if just that one test being abnormal means anything. The reason for the blood work is mainly because of her poor growth, though she does have some other symptoms. IgA 133 mg/dl Reference range 33-200 CRP <2.9 same as reference range Gliadin Deamidated Peptide IgA .4 Reference range <=14.9 Gliadin deamidated peptide IgG 33.9 Reference range <=14.9 TTG IgA .5 Reference range <=14.9 TTG IgG <.8 Reference range <=14.9

Just watch out. I just went to the expo in Schaumburg, IL, and ended up getting glutened. I realized afterward that I ate all these samples thinking they were gluten free, and they weren't. One company was advertising some sugar, and had made some cake, but then I realized.... How do I know if this contains any other ingredients that might have gluten? Did they make it with a blender or utensils that had gluten contamination? Makes me realize the only safe things would be packaged giveaways with gluten free labeling. My fault for not thinking things through. It was just too exciting thinking i could try it all and enjoy without worry.

No fasting required for a celiac blood test unless they were checking your blood glucose levels during the same blood draw.