Adult men with celiac disease are shorter

Summary: Researchers from the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University found that men diagnosed with celiac disease as adults were on average about three inches shorter than the general population.

They published results of a height comparison for almost 600 confirmed celiac disease patients as compared to the general population. Women diagnosed with celiac disease as adults were not found to be significantly shorter than women in the general population. The authors noted no significant differences in specific age at diagnosis, BMI (body mass index) or presence of other autoimmune illnesses such as hypothyroidism, type I diabetes or dermatitis herpetiformis that were associated with the shorter or taller patients.

Conclusion: The authors note that short stature is a recognized symptom in pediatric diagnosis of celiac disease, with the demonstrated potential for “catch-up growth” once on a gluten-free diet. This study is the first to document that males with celiac disease who had attained final height are shorter than other males in the general population.


[1] “Men with celiac disease are shorter than their peers in the general population.”, Sonti R, Lebwohl B, Lewis SK, Abu Daya H, Klavan H, Aguilar K, Green PH, #European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology# 2013 Jun 5 [Epub ahead of print].

By Jason Clevenger

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