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Everyone with Osteoporosis Should Be Screened for Celiac Disease

Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:370-372, 393-399

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Celiac.com 03/09/2005 - According to a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, everyone with osteoporosis should also be screened for celiac disease. The study looked at 840 people—266 with osteoporosis and 574 without—who were screened for celiac disease using serum anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) and anti-endomysial (EMA) antibodies—those who tested positive for either were given a follow-up biopsy. The serological screening results indicated that 12 (4.5%) of the 266 osteoporotic patients were positive for celiac disease, while only six (1.0%) of the 574 non-osteoporotic patients tested positive. Out of the osteoporotic patients who were positive, 3.4% were confirmed by a biopsy, while only 0.2% of the non-osteoporotic patients were confirmed via biopsy (2 of the serological positive group refused a follow-up biopsy). In the group with both celiac disease and osteoporosis, the researchers found a direct correlation between the severity of both diseases, and the treatment of these patients via a gluten-free diet dramatically improved the symptoms of both diseases.

According to the researchers: The prevalence of celiac disease among osteoporotic patients was much higher than among the non-osteoporotic population and high enough to justify a recommendation that all individuals with osteoporosis undergo serologic screening for celiac disease.

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