Celiac disease and partner burden

By Van Waffle

Celiac disease commonly imposes a burden on patients’ partners, according to new research from Columbia University. Previous research has found celiac disease imposes a reduced quality of life similar to that of other severe chronic diseases. However, this was the first to study impact on loved ones.

The study surveyed 94 patients and their partners at the university’s celiac disease center. Sixteen percent of patients reported poor quality of life, while 37 percent of partners reported mild to moderate burden, 23 percent reported poor relationship satisfaction and 12 percent reported poor sexual satisfaction.

The study did not use a control group of people unaffected by celiac disease for comparison. However, the partner burden was significantly higher than normal, according to surveys in previous research. The authors recommend healthcare workers try to include partners in the counseling process when caring for people with celiac disease.


Roy A, Minaya M, Monegro M, Fleming J, Wong RK, Lewis S, Lebwohl B and Green PH, “Partner burden: a common entity in celiac disease,” Digestive Disease and Sciences, Apr 28 2016 [Epub ahead of print].

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