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Celiac Disease Almost Doubles Risk of Heart Disease

Celiac.com 03/14/2016 - Compared with the general population, people with celiac disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease (CAD), and 1.4 times as likely to suffer a stroke, according to a large retrospective study presented at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Scientific Sessions.

Photo: CC--theilrThe data indicate that people with celiac disease might be at higher risk of CAD, even if they do not have standard cardiovascular risk factors, said co-investigator Dr Rama Dilip Gajulapalli of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

His team is calling on primary-care physicians, gastroenterologists, and other healthcare practitioners to be "mindful of their celiac patients," and to "be on the watch for probable cardiac diseases."

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Higher risk levels were seen even in patients under 65 years old, and may be due to the gut inflammation that can damage the small intestine in people with celiac disease. According to Dr Gajulapalli, "low-grade inflammation in the gut…can spill immune mediators into the bloodstream, which can then accelerate the process of atherosclerosis and, in turn, CAD."

These findings are important for people with celiac disease, and for the doctors treating them. They support the idea that chronic inflammation of any kind can have a negative impact on heart health. For people with celiac disease, this can lead to higher rates of CAD, among other complications.

So, the takeaway here is for people with celiac disease to check in with their doctors, and to be aware of any potential problems.

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7 Responses:

 
Julie McDermott
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said this on
21 Mar 2016 8:41:58 AM PDT
Is this true even if you follow a strict gluten free diet or is it only for people with celiac disease who don't follow a gluten free diet?

 
Bill
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said this on
21 Mar 2016 5:01:01 PM PDT
Well isn't that special, what else can this disease cause?

 
muriel
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said this on
21 Mar 2016 5:46:02 PM PDT
Thank you! Your articles bring attention to many subjects related to celiac disease that I would not be able to find anywhere else! Keep up the great work!

 
r jansen
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said this on
21 Mar 2016 6:05:48 PM PDT
I had 2 heart attacks (with 9 stents inserted over 9 years), low HDLs, anemia and cancer (carcinoma) of the small intestine. Through an endoscopy at age 60, my GI doctor said I had one of the worst cases of Celiac (later confirmed by genetic testing) that he had seen. Within 6 months on a gluten free regimen, my HDLs had increased from <30 to 50. My subsequent cardiac scans indicated improvement. The cancer scans are clear after 5+ years.
It is important to get this info out to the medical community, which does not test for possible connections to Celiac disease.

 
Gunnar S.
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said this on
27 May 2016 7:23:55 AM PDT
I had 3 heart attacks (13 stents 2008-2015) 2x2 Cabg 2010 2x4 Cabg 4/2016, low HDL's and my GI said the same thing about my Celiac disease. Worst case he had ever seen. Tested me twice. I was 54 when diagnosed with celiac disease. 54?

 
Hilary
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said this on
22 Mar 2016 4:32:36 AM PDT
Thanks for the heads up Jefferson, wish this could go farther and be published elsewhere as well. Again, great research.

 
Linda
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said this on
23 Mar 2016 5:14:51 AM PDT
Thank you. This information is informative and timely. My doctor is very interested in assisting me with navigating the 'celiac web', his son has also been diagnosed with celiac so we have a bond. It is a great discussion topic for doctors and patients.




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So just to clarify had not consumed any gluten for about 4 days before testing. I was assured by my allergist that it wouldn't affect the test. But what was alarming was that she retested my food allergies (my most recent reaction was two weeks ago) and every food allergy I have came back negative. I don't understand how that is possible. These food allergies developed when I was 20 and I am almost 24 now.

Thanks! You too! I have learned from this experience to take charge of my own health. It's nice at least that we can try the gluten-free treatment without a firm diagnosis or a doctor confirming the disease. I've also felt some of the gluten withdrawal symptoms, and my stomach pain ebbs and flows, but I'm determined to stick with the gluten-free diet to see what a difference it makes. Gemini, thank you! This was really validating and useful for me to hear. I've felt so confused through this process and just want some answers. If the biopsy results do come back negative, I'm going to follow your advice and do the gluten-free diet with repeat blood testing after a while. If they come back positive, well, then I'll have my answer. I'm supposed to get them back next week.

I have celiac and eosinaphalic esophagitis. I was put on a steroid inhaler recently. I use it like an inhaler but swallow the air instead of breathing it in. You may want to look into EOE and it's relationship to celiac. Just a thought. My swallowing and celiac seem to be related.

You have eat gluten every single day until after testing. And the celiac blood test is supposed to be done as well.

If I was the big guy, there's no way I would have to wait 3 and a half weeks for a test lol. My GI doc never recommended the antibody test. He said doing it with the scope was the only sure way to know. Does anybody know if I should eat a little gluten the day before my test to see if I will get an accurate enough test? Or will it not matter, once the damage is done it's done?