Celiac disease reduces risk for Type II diabetes

By Jason Clevenger

Summary: An investigation looked into the risk those diagnosed with celiac disease have for developing Type II diabetes (formerly known as adult-onset). In the study, researchers at the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center compared the medical records of 840 proven celiac disease patients with an equivalent number of patients of the same age, sex and ethnicity. Of the celiac disease patients, all of whom were on a gluten-free diet, 3 percent had Type II diabetes as compared to almost 10 percent for the control population.

Conclusion: This study strongly suggests that celiac disease patients have lower incidence of Type II diabetes than would be expected even when taking into account the differences in the body mass index (BMI). The results refute the hypothesis that patients diagnosed with celiac disease and following a gluten-free diet might be more at risk for developing Type II diabetes. Celiac disease has long been associated with Type I diabetes, leading to the assumption that the same might be true for Type II diabetes. This type of epidemiological study, common in countries with large patient databases such as Sweden, is now beginning to be possible in the U.S. as more patients are diagnosed and treated by a single entity such as the celiac center.


[1] “Patients with Celiac Disease Have a Lower Prevalence of Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus and Metabolic Syndrome.”, Kabbani TA, Kelly CP, Betensky RA, Hansen J, Pallav K, Villafuerte J, Vanga RR, Mukherjee R, Novero A, Dennis M, Leffler DA, Gastroenterology 2013 Jan 24 [Epub ahead of print].