Accelerated progression of atherosclerosis and increased cardiovascular risk have been described in immune-mediated disorders, but few data are available in celiac disease.
Dr De Marchi and colleagues from Italy evaluated instrumental and biochemical signs of atherosclerosis risk in 20 adults at first diagnosis of celiac disease and after 6–8 months of gluten-free diet with mucosal recovery.
The team analyzed total, high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, homocysteine, C-reactive protein, folate and vitamin B12; ultrasound measurement of carotid intima-media thickness and endothelium-dependent dilatation were both carried on at diagnosis and after gluten withdrawal.
The researchers evaluated 22 healthy members of the hospital staff as matched controls for vascular examinations.
The doctors noted that at baseline, that the mean total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol high-density lipoprotein were both within normal range, while mean low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol concentration was slightly increased.
Diet was associated with an increment in total and high-density lipoprotein and a significant improvement in total high-density lipoprotein ratio.
|C-reactive protein significantly decreased with diet|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
Mean plasma homocysteine was elevated and not influenced by diet.
The research team found that C-reactive protein significantly decreased with diet.
The research team assessed that at baseline, in coeliacs, IMT was increased, while endothelium-dependent dilatation was decreased.
Both parameters improved after gluten abstinence.
Dr De Marchi's team commented, "Adults with coeliac disease seem to be at potentially increased risk of early atherosclerosis as suggested by vascular impairment and unfavourable biochemical risk pattern."
"Chronic inflammation might play a determining role."
"Gluten abstinence with mucosal normalisation reverts to normal the observed alterations."