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Does Celiac Disease Follow the Mason Dixon Line?

A new study shows that people living in the southern United States have less celiac disease than their Northern counterparts, regardless of race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or body mass index.


Photo: CC--Nicholas A. Tonelli

Celiac.com 04/11/2017 - A new study shows that people living in the southern United States have less celiac disease than their Northern counterparts, regardless of race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or body mass index.

Rates of celiac disease vary by region, with a sharp variation between Americans living in the northern United States and Americans living in the southern part of the country. A team of researchers recently examined geographic, demographic, and clinical factors associated with prevalence of celiac disease and gluten-free diet in the United States.

The research team included Aynur Unalp-Arida, M.D., Ph.D, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Constance E. Ruhl, M.D., Ph.D., of Social & Scientific Systems, Inc., Silver Spring, MD, and Rok Seon Choung, M.D., Ph.D., Tricia L. Brantner, and Joseph A. Murray, M.D., of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

For their population-based study, their team analyzed data on gluten-related conditions from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, from 2009 through 2014, on 22,277 participants 6 years and older. The team found celiac patients using results of serum tests for immunoglobulin A against tissue transglutaminase and endomysium, or of both, a health clinical diagnosis, and adherence to a gluten-free diet.

The team also accounted for patients who follow a gluten-free diet without a diagnosis of celiac disease. Using the patients' status of gluten-related conditions, the team then compared average serum levels of biochemical and nutritional markers.

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Their results showed that 0.7% of participants had celiac disease, while 1.1% of participants avoid gluten without celiac disease. People who lived at latitudes of 35–39º North or at latitudes of 40º North were more likely to have celiac disease than individuals who lived at latitudes below 35º North, regardless of race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or body mass index. People who lived at 40º North or higher were more likely to avoid gluten without a celiac diagnosis, regardless of demographic factors and BMI.

People with undiagnosed celiac disease, as determined by positive blood tests, had lower average levels of B12 and folate than persons without celiac disease. People with a clinical celiac diagnosis diagnosis had a lower average level of hemoglobin than those without celiac disease.

Both those with gluten-related conditions and those without showed comparable average levels of albumin, calcium, iron, ferritin, cholesterol, vitamin B6, and vitamin D.

American living at latitudes of 35º North or greater have higher rates of celiac disease and/or avoid gluten than persons living south of this latitude, independent of race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or body mass index.

Average levels of B12 and folate are lower in individuals with undiagnosed celiac disease, and levels of hemoglobin are lower in participants with a diagnosis of celiac disease, compared to individuals without celiac disease.

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1 Response:

 
Bertie
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
18 Apr 2017 3:01:18 PM PDT
I follow a strict glutenfree diet although never tested. Years ago I was found to be folic acid deficient, but no one picked up why I was, despite a good diet. I suffered from eczema, urticaria, alopecia, but no one linked these symptoms. When I omitted gluten I lost 1.5 stone, my constant indigestion disappeared, and the fatigue disappeared too. My sister and two of her children are coeliacs, we all live 54/55 degrees north.




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Hi Dalek, JMG has it right, any food with wheat, rye or barley is a gluten containing food. In addition, watch out for malt, which is sometimes made from barley. That includes the malt in beers.

Interesting!! I'm going to share that with her dr. I'll have to look into the gluten sensitivity more myself, the main reason we started testing is due to poor growth. As I learned more, I've seen several symptoms that could be explained by celiac. I like feeling informed so I'll know what to talk to the dr about or ask about. I think those are the results we are waiting for still, I couldn't remember the name.

Call your doctor's office and ask them to relay your request to the doctor to amend the test request, they should be able to sort it without an additional meeting and delay. Worth a try anyway I think the Biocard tests TTG IGA and it may give you an indication. Do post your results here as I'm sure others will be interested in its effectiveness. If it's negative however remember that there are several celiac tests for a reason. Some test on one, some on another etc... However my guess is your doctor will dismiss them and want their own testing. That's the usual experience.

Waiting for the EMA, I bet. Keep advocating! this is interesting. If celiac disease is excluded, she might still have a gluten sensitivity. There just is not specific test for that. http://theglutensummittranscripts.s3.amazonaws.com/Dr_Umberto_Volta.pdf

I think all the flavors are all gluten free. I buy them at my local grocery store which is a Kroger store. Amazon has them too. Jenny at "The Patient Celiac" uses them too (she is a preemie doctor who has celiac disease).