1. Roos, Susanne MSc, RN
  2. Karner, Anita PhD, RN
  3. Hallert, Claes PhD, MD


Women with celiac disease (CD) living on a gluten-free diet (GFD) show a lower health-related quality of life and report a higher rate of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms than men with CD. Uncertainty exists as to whether GI symptoms may explain the poorer treatment outcome of women with CD. This study was designed to explore relationships of GI symptoms and psychological well-being in men and women with long-standing CD. Patients with CD (n = 108; 59% women), aged 45-64 years, treated with a GFD for at least 8 years were evaluated by the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale and the Psychological General Well-Being index. The results show that women with a high rate of GI symptoms have no lower level of psychological well-being than corresponding men with CD and that women with CD with reduced psychological well-being have no more GI symptoms than corresponding men. Our results fail to support the notion that the reduced subjective health in CD is explained by GI symptoms. They may be secondary to perceived difficulties in managing everyday life, suggesting that launching a nurse-led follow-up may be helpful, as has been proven to be useful in other lifelong disorders.