Medical records show celiac disease on the rise

By Jason Clevenger

Summary: Celiac disease is increasing in the United States, at least as measured by one well-defined area in Minnesota, researchers affiliated with the Mayo Clinic confirmed. Researchers from the U.S. and Sweden used medical records and population data from Olmsted County, Minn., going back to 2000 to determine that the incidence of celiac disease had increased to 17.4 per 100,000 people in 2008-2010. That’s up from 11.1 per 100,000 people in the same area in 2000-2001.

Conclusion: The authors conclude that celiac disease is “swiftly becoming a major health problem” in the U.S. Even taking technological advances in blood testing and increased awareness of celiac disease into account, the authors say additional factors such as changing patterns of infectious disease and timing and frequency of gluten consumption may be playing a role. It’s unusual in the U.S. to find the kind of population data the researchers used. It was made possible through a large database of electronic medical records.

 

[1] “Increasing Incidence of Celiac Disease in a North American Population”, Ludvigsson JF, Rubio-Tapia A, van Dyke CT, Melton LJ 3rd, Zinsmeister AR, Lahr BD, Murray JA., #The American Journal of Gastroenterology# 2013 Mar 19 [Epub ahead of print].