Celiac disease severity and anemia

By Jason Clevenger

Summary: A research group from the Celiac Center at Columbia University released a report examining the severity of celiac disease associated with symptoms presented at diagnosis. The study looked at more than 700 celiac disease patients who had either diarrhea (77 percent) or anemia (23 percent) prior to diagnosis. The researchers found that the anemic group was more than twice as likely to have severe villous atrophy and low bone mass density at the time of diagnosis than the group with diarrhea.

Conclusion: The “classic” presentation of celiac disease is typically associated with diarrhea, while anemia is often considered to be an atypical symptom. This study suggests that patients presenting with anemia, in fact, have a more severe disease progression that should be taken into consideration during the treatment process.


[1] “Celiac Disease Patients Presenting With Anemia Have More Severe Disease than Those Presenting With Diarrhea.”, Abu Daya H, Lebwohl B, Lewis SK, Green PH, #Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology# 2013 Jun 10. pii: S1542-3565.

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