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Celiac Disease: A Concern Even Later In Life

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The current (12/09) issue of The John Hopkins Medical Letter has an article regarding celiac and older people. Much of the article, though, is general info about Celiac.

From the article:

A study published in Digestive and Liver Disease found that among more than 2,000 adults ages 52-74, 2% of participants were diagnosed with celiac disease - a much higher number, on average, than previously stated for adults. Most of the subjects had mild or no symptons.

another section:

Fortunatly, older people who have gone undiagnosed for years usually have a milder form of the disease, with less damage to the small intestine, than people who develop symptoms when they are young.


In conclusion, the prevalence of celiac disease proved to be high in elderly people. Increased alertness and the free employment of serologic screening tests are warranted. One seronegative test result does not exclude forthcoming celiac disease. Our serial screening in the same population indicated that seropositivity and the disease may also appear later in life. This should be taken into account when considering celiac disease case finding and screening studies.

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