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People with Adult Celiac Disease are Shorter than their Peers

A new study shows that adults with celiac disease are shorter than their healthy counterparts.


Adults with celiac disease are shorter than their healthy peers. Photo: CC--Ian D. Keating

Celiac.com 11/14/2016 - Diagnosis of celiac disease is often delayed, sometimes into adulthood, but researchers don't have much good data on the possible consequences of such a delay.

There's plenty of data to show that pediatric patients with celiac disease are often short in stature. However, there's very little data on physical features, including height, of adult patients with celiac disease. A team of researchers recently set out to evaluate whether patients suffering from celiac disease are shorter in comparison with the general population without celiac disease. The research team included Abbas Esmaeilzadeh, Azita Ganji, Ladan Goshayeshi, Kamran Ghafarzadegan, Mehdi Afzal Aghayee, Homan Mosanen Mozafari, Hassan Saadatniya, Abdolrasol Hayatbakhsh, and Vahid Ghavami Ghanbarabadi.

The team also assessed likely correlations between demographic and physical features, main complains, serum anti tTG level, and intestinal pathology damage between short versus tall stature celiac patients. They conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study on 219 adult patients diagnosed with celiac disease in the Celiac Disease Center, between June 2008 and June 2014 in Mashhad, Iran.

All patients were between 18 and 60 years of age. The team compared the height of the study subjects against a group of 657 age- and sex-matched control cases from the healthy population. They then then compared the likely influencing factors on height such as intestinal pathology, serum level of anti-tissue transglutaminase (anti-tTG), serum vitamin D, and hemoglobin level at the time of diagnosis in short versus tall stature patients with celiac disease.

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All 65 male and 154 female celiac patients were shorter than their counterparts in the general population "(males: 168.5±8.6 to 171.3±7.2 cm, p less than 0.01 and females: 154.8±10.58 to 157.8±7.2 cm, p less than 0.01). Spearman linear correlation showed height in patient with CD was correlated with serum hemoglobin (p less than 0.001, r=0.285) and bone mineral density (p less than 0.001) and not with serum vitamin D levels (p =0.024, r=0.237), but was not correlated with anti-tTG serum levels (p=0.97)."

Celiac patients with upper and lower quartile of height in men and women had no significant difference in the anti-tTG level and degree of duodenal pathology (Marsh grade). Shorter patients more commonly experienced anemia than taller patients.

Adults with celiac disease are definitely shorter compared with healthy adults. There is a direct correlation between height and anemia and bone mineral density. This study really drives home the importance of early detection and treatment of celiac disease.

Source:

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13 Responses:

 
Hannah
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said this on
14 Nov 2016 8:28:55 PM PST
Diagnosed with CD at 21 years old. I am a female 5’8”. My mom is 5´ 6" dad is 5´9". Don´t seem to fit your theory. I never eat out because of cross contamination. Keep researching. Hoping for a cure.

 
Jefferson Adams
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said this on
18 Nov 2016 2:07:45 PM PST
The article says that most, but by no means all, people with adult celiac disease are shorter than their peers. That means there will can still be tall people with adult celiac disease, just that they are the exception that proves the rule.

 
Alicia
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said this on
21 Nov 2016 7:44:42 AM PST
Diagnosed with CD at 31 years old. I´m a 5´8" female. My mom is 5´5" dad with CD was 6" and my sister who doesn´t have CD is 5´5 1/2" and my niece with CD is on target with her I don´t seem to fit the theory either.

 
Jefferson Adams
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said this on
22 Nov 2016 11:59:31 AM PST
Not picking on Alicia and Hannah specifically, but you have both misread the data here. First, it's not a theory, it is a simple data set from a large population with adult celiac disease. The data show that MOST people with adult celiac disease are shorter than their peers. It can be true that most people with celiac disease are shorter than their peers, AND true that a few rare individuals can also have adult celiac disease and be taller than their peers. BOTH things can be true. In fact, that's exactly what the data says: People with adult celiac disease who are taller than their peers are the exception, they are rare; most are shorter. The data says absolutely nothing about people without adult celiac disease, be they short or tall. I hope that helps.

 
Jared M.
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said this on
21 Nov 2016 10:58:58 AM PST
That's too bad. I´m 6´3". Maybe without celiac I could've been tall enough to be a center in basketball.

 
Mari
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said this on
21 Nov 2016 12:31:51 PM PST
Diagnosed at age 70. Had food problems at age 3, slow growth until age 14. Often anemic. now 5´4". Mother 5´6" Sister 5´8" Brothers over 6´ Father 5´9". Had Lyme Disease. Endometriosis. Osteoporosis. Chemical sensitivities and allergies. Unnecessary sinus operation. Lack of stamina. Was told "it was all in my head" when I went to physicians. Have BS Public Health, MA Molecular Genetics but was too tired to go on for PhD. Now 80. Took about 8 years on GF diet to recover.

 
Kurt Ashton
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said this on
21 Nov 2016 10:55:21 PM PST
I am 47 years old, and 6ft. -8".... Whoever came up with that scientific theory is off the mark!!

 
April
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said this on
22 Nov 2016 10:31:05 AM PST
I agree with the other commenters. I'm 5'10 and have celiac disease and vitamin B12 anemia. This doesn't really seem to fit their theory.

 
Jefferson Adams
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said this on
11 Dec 2016 3:25:33 PM PST
Please understand that this is not a theory, but is scientifically collected data. Think of it this way: If you had an identical twin without celiac disease, your twin would likely be taller than you, say 5´11" or 6´0". It would also be true if you were both on the shorter side, i.e., twin would likely be taller.

 
Janice Lamb
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said this on
22 Nov 2016 1:14:57 PM PST
Diagnosed at 52. I'm 5'1, my mother was 5'4 1/2" and father 5´8" Also was anemic and had osteopenia.

 
Janice Lamb
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said this on
22 Nov 2016 1:18:52 PM PST
I'm 5'1" My mother was 5'4 1/2" and my father was 5'8". Also diagnosed at 52 years old and was anemic and had low bone density..

 
Pippy
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said this on
22 Nov 2016 7:59:23 PM PST
I am the only one who has been tested for CD in my family. I am several inches shorter then all the women, but I am not short at 5'6".

 
Jefferson Adams
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said this on
11 Dec 2016 3:22:50 PM PST
The best way to think of it is this: If you had a genetically identical twin without celiac disease, you would likely be a bit shorter, regardless of how tall you both were overall.




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Morning guys. So long story short. Lost 10 kg back late last year. Stress related I believe. ( I Understand this is a big factor with celiacs) Tested. Found anti bodies in my blood. Doctor states potential Celiacs. Have endoscopy. Doctor who takes procedure doubts I have it. ...

Getting a celiac disease diagnosis is shocking. Expect to go through all the stages of grief. Your best defense is to learn how to read labels, avoid cross contamination and consider eating as few processed foods for a few weeks. It may speed healing (wish someone would have advised me to do s...

That is very helpful. Thank you so much.

I would read it as ?high?. In any case, you were positive on the TTG and the DGP. You only need one positive. I had pretty severe intestinal damage and never even had a positive on the EMA or the TTG even when they were re-run several times during follow-up visits.

Thank you! That does help. I was just confused about the ?negative? under the EMA Titer when my level says ?1:40 high?. Any insight there? Just wondering if it?s further confirming or denying? I first thought confirming.