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Persistent Villous Atrophy Not Associated With Heart Disease

Celiac.com 03/13/2015 - People who suffer from celiac disease with persistent villous atrophy do not face any higher risk of ischemic heart disease or atrial fibrillation, according to a recent study by a research team in Sweden.

Image: Banksy. Photo: CC--Eva BlueThis is important, because patients with celiac disease do face an increased risk of death from cardiovascular causes, so it is mildly encouraging that persistent villous atrophy resulting from gluten exposure does not appear to affect overall or cardiovascular mortality.

The research team, led by Dr. Jonas F. Ludvigsson from Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, studied 7,440 celiac disease patients, 43% with persistent villous atrophy, who had follow-up biopsies, along with up to five controls each, matched for age, gender, county, and calendar year.

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Overall risk of ischemic heart disease was not significantly higher in the patients with celiac disease. After adjusting for age at follow-up biopsy, gender, duration of celiac disease, and other factors, they found no significant difference in the risk of ischemic heart disease risk between patients with villous atrophy and those with mucosal healing.

Similarly, patients with villous atrophy had no higher risk of atrial fibrillation than those with mucosal healing.

Factors associated with ischemic heart disease risk included being male, older, and having lower educational levels. Factors associated with atrial fibrillation risk included being male and being older.

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It took me 20 years or more Barry so I wouldn't claim any great insight on this I had a 'eureka' moment, up until then I was walking around with multiple symptoms and not connecting any dots whatsoever. It is very, very difficult to diagnose and that's something that's reflected in so many of the experiences detailed here. A food diary may help in your case. It helped me to connect the gaps between eating and onset. It could help you to track any gluten sources should you go gluten free. It is possible for your reactions to change over time. As to whether its celiac, that's something you could explore with your doctor, stay on gluten if you choose to go that way. best of luck! Matt

I took Zoloft once. Loved it until it triggered microscopic colitis (colonoscopy diagnosed it). Lexapro did the same. However, I have a family member who is fiagnosed celiac and tolerates Celexa well.

Thanks for the update and welcome to the club you never wanted to join! ?

Jmg, I am glad you were able to come to the realisation that the culprit was in fact gluten. For me its not so simple. IBS runs in the family, as do several food intolerances. Its just in the last while that I can finally reach the conclusion that for me its gluten. The fact that it is a delayed effect-several hours after, made it harder. Friday I had some KFC, felt great. Saturday evening felt sleepy, Sunday felt awful and my belly was huge. I think I have gone from mildly sensitive to full blown celiac over the course of five years-if that possible. Thanks for all your help.

I thought I'd take a moment to provide an update, given how much lurking I've done on these forums the last year. It took a long time, but I've since had another gastroenterologist visit, many months of eating tons of bread, and an endoscopy where they took several biopsies. I have to say, the endoscopy was a super quick and efficient experience. During the procedure they let me know that it looked somewhat suspicious, causing them to take many biopsies, and then did comprehensive blood work. About a month later, I received a call telling me that the TTG came back positive a second time, and that the biopsies were a mix of negative (normal) results and some that were positive (showing blunting of the villi). As a result, I've been given a celiac diagnosis. It's been about a month now that I've been eating gluten free. Not sure if I'm really feeling all that different yet. It's a bit twisted to say, but in some way I was hoping for this diagnosis ? thinking how nice it would be to have an explanation, a plan of action, and feeling better. It's certainly no small change to be totally gluten free, but I'm hopeful.