Should everyone be screened for celiac disease?

By Jason Clevenger

Summary: Peter Green, M.D., and his colleagues of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University published a review article that summarizes the current state of knowledge regarding the potential benefits of mass screening for celiac disease. The authors reviewed current findings on quality of life of celiac disease, as well as the prevalence and health impact of certain types of cancer and other diseases associated with celiac disease.

The authors conclude that screening the general population, or even patients in some high-prevalence groups, does not have a clearly demonstrable clinical benefit. However, the authors conclude that certain groups, regardless of age, should be screened, including those with autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disease, liver disease, primary biliary cirrhosis and type 1 diabetes.

Conclusion: Some public health advocates in Europe and the United States have long pushed for the adoption of mass screening of the general population for celiac disease. This article suggests that only certain groups of patients would clearly benefit from CD screening, and there is currently not enough justification for screening the population at large.

 

[1] “Screening for celiac disease in average-risk and high-risk populations”, S. Aggarwal, B. Lebwohl, P.H. Green, Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology. 2012 Jan;5(1):37-47.