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Prevalence of celiac disease in the USA

This month's American Journal of Gastroenterology reports on the prevalence of celiac disease in the United States.

News image

The prevalence of celiac disease in the United States is unknown.

Dr Joseph Murray and colleagues from Minnesota, USA estimated celiac disease prevalence nationwide by using a nationally representative sample.

The research team evaluated 7,798 persons aged 6 years or older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009–2010.

Serum samples from all participants were tested for immunoglobulin A (IgA) tissue transglutaminase antibodies and, if findings were abnormal, also for IgA endomysial antibodies.

Information about prior diagnosis of celiac disease, and use of a gluten-free diet was obtained by direct interview.

The prevalence of celiac disease in the United States was 0.7%
American Journal of Gastroenterology

Celiac disease was defined as having either double-positive serology or a reported diagnosis by a doctor or other health-care professional and being on a gluten-free diet.

The team found celiac disease in 35 participants, 29 of whom were unaware of their diagnosis.

The researchers observed that the median age was 45 years, 20 were women and 29 were non-Hispanic white.

The prevalence of celiac disease in the United States was 0.7%, with 1% among non-Hispanic whites.

The team found that 55 participants reported following a gluten-free diet, which corresponded to a prevalence of 0.6%.

Dr Murray's team commented, "The prevalence of celiac disease in the United States was 0.7%, similar to that found in several European countries."

"However, most cases were undiagnosed."

"Celiac disease was rare among minority groups but affected 1% of non-Hispanic whites."

"Most persons who were following a gluten-free diet did not have a diagnosis of celiac disease."

Am J Gastroenterol 2012; 107: 1538–1544
11 October 2012

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