In this study, researchers sought to establish the prevalence of celiac disease in the general population. They also investigated prevalence in specific conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, iron deficiency anemia, fatigue and other related conditions.
The team performed a primary-care-based cross-sectional study. They used immunoglobulins, IgA/IgG antigliadin antibodies and endomysial antibodies to recognize celiac disease.
|Prevalence of celiac disease in this primary care population sample was 1%.|
|European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology|
The team’s findings are reported in the April issue of the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
The researchers recruited a total of 1200 volunteers from 5 general practices in South Yorkshire, England, between 1999 and 2001.
Participants with a positive IgA antigliadin, endomysial, or IgG antigliadin antibody, in the presence of IgA deficiency, underwent small-bowel biopsy to confirm celiac disease.
The research team diagnoses 12 new cases of celiac disease from 1200 samples.
The team found that the prevalence of celiac disease in this primary care population sample was 1%.
Furthermore, prevalence of celiac disease was 3% in participants with irritable bowel syndrome, 5% in participants with iron deficiency anemia, and 3% in participants with fatigue.
Dr David Sanders’s team concluded, “This study describes the prevalence of undiagnosed adult celiac disease in primary care patients with irritable bowel syndrome, iron deficiency anemia and fatigue”.
“Underdiagnosis of celiac disease is common in primary care.”
“A case-finding approach would avoid delays in diagnosis and the associated morbidity or potential complications of celiac disease.”
“A low threshold for serological screening of patients with celiac-associated symptoms or conditions would be an optimal strategy.”