Post Date: July 13, 2011
Researchers Examine Incidence of Malignancy and Mortality in Patients with Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity
Both groups have higher mortality rates than general population
Ireland is thought to have one of the highest incidences of celiac disease in the world. Considering this fact, a research team from Belfast conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study to determine the incidence of malignancy and mortality in patients with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. The researchers reviewed the records of 13,338 people in Northern Ireland whose blood had been tested for increased antibodies to endomysium (highly suggestive of celiac disease) and gliadin (indicative of gluten sensitivity). They then analyzed the medical and death records of the patients who tested positive (490 for endomysium and 1133 for anti-gliadin) and compared the rates of malignancy and mortality against the incidences in the general population.
The team found that patients with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had higher mortality rates than the general North Irish population.
In addition, they found that the incidence was higher in patients with celiac diease for:
The incidence was higher in patients with gluten sensitivity for:
This association persists more than one year after diagnosis in patients testing positive for anti-gliadin antibodies”.
According to the authors, the fact that patients with gluten sensitivity had a higher occurrence of malignancy is an interesting finding and necessitates further study to determine its cause. The authors also noted their surprise at the high number of people who tested positive for gliadin antibodies, adding “some of these patients may be gluten sensitive but as yet have no damage to the endomycial muscle. If this is the case then this is the first study to investigate the risk of malignancy and mortality in this group of patients”.
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