April 7 (UPI) – According to a Swedish study published on Tuesday, celiac disease can increase the risk of premature death by more than 20 percent. Jama,
Researchers have found that an immune condition in which patients experience small bowel damage from gluten-containing foods can cause early death from heart disease, cancer, and respiratory illness.
“We know that celiac disease can cause a number of long-term complications that can affect life expectancy, but this study explores the entire population in the modern era, at a time when awareness of celiac disease and access to gluten-free food is widespread,” says statement by study co-author Benjamin Lebwola, director of clinical research at the Center for Celiac Disease at Columbia University. “Despite this, we found that celiac disease has long-term consequences.”
Celiac disease affects about 1 percent of the population in the United States, or about 3 million people – the vast majority of whom are not diagnosed.
This is a hereditary autoimmune disease that affects the digestive process in the small intestine after consuming gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.
In a person with celiac disease, the immune system responds to gluten by attacking the small intestine and inhibiting the absorption of important nutrients in the body.
Previous studies have shown a modest but constant increased risk of early death in people with celiac disease. However, in recent years, more and more people with mild illnesses have been diagnosed, and gluten-free foods are widely available.
Using the nationwide data from the Swedish pathology departments related to the national health registries, Lebvol and colleagues examined data on nearly 50,000 people with the disease.
They found that compared with healthy controls, overall mortality was 21% higher in people with celiac disease and that a relative increase in mortality risk was present in all age groups – and the highest in those diagnosed between the ages of 18 and 39. old.
Compared to the control group, the overall risk of mortality was greatest in the first year after diagnosis, but the increase in risk persisted for about 10 years after diagnosis.
“Intestinal inflammation is often the most intense in diagnosis, and before a gluten-free diet had an effect on mucosal healing,” said co-author Jonas F. Ludwigsson, senior pediatrician at the University Hospital Örebro and professor of clinical epidemiology in Karolinsk. Institute in Sweden. “Celiac disease is characterized by inflammation, which is usually harmful to your health. Therefore, I am not surprised that we found increased mortality for a number of causes of death in people with celiac disease. ”
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