Celiac Disease Prevalence Is Less Than 1 Percent in the U.S.

Most cases of celiac disease are undiagnosed; few on gluten-free diet are clinically diagnosed

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of celiac disease in the United States is 0.71 percent, according to research published online July 31 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Alberto Rubio-Tapia, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues analyzed data from 7,798 persons (aged 6 years or older) who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009 to 2010. All participants' serum samples were tested for immunoglobulin A (IgA) tissue transglutaminase antibodies and, if results were abnormal, also for IgA endomysial antibodies. Interviews determined information about prior diagnosis of celiac disease and use of a gluten-free diet (GFD). Celiac disease was defined as having either a double-positive serological diagnosis or a reported physician diagnosis and being on a GFD

The researchers found that celiac disease was detected in 35 participants (20 were women and 29 were non-Hispanic white), 29 of whom were unaware of their diagnosis, for a prevalence of celiac disease in the United States of 0.71 percent (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.58 to 0.86 percent), and a prevalence of 1.01 percent (95 percent CI, 0.78 to 1.31 percent) among non-Hispanic whites. Fifty-five participants reported following a GFD, which corresponded to a prevalence of 0.63 percent (95 percent CI, 0.36 to 1.07 percent).

"The prevalence of celiac disease in the United States was 0.71 percent, similar to that found in several European countries," the authors write.

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