Prevalence of Celiac Disease in the United States

The following are the results of a multi-center study on the sero-prevalence of celiac disease in the United States among both at risk and not at risk groups. Over 13,000 people were screened. Fasano et. Al., Archives of Internal Medicine, February 2003

  • In average healthy people: 1 in 133 (have celiac disease)
  • In people with related symptoms: 1 in 56
  • In people with first-degree relatives (parent, child, sibling) who are celiac: 1 in 22
  • In people with second-degree relatives (aunt, uncle, cousin) who are celiac: 1 in 39
  • Estimated prevalence for African-, Hispanic-, and Asian-Americans: 1 in 236

Implications

These results indicate that celiac disease is the most common genetic disease in the United States (3.5%). That means 2.1 million Americans are living with celiac disease, and 97% of these are undiagnosed. Therefore, it would also be one of the most undiagnosed diseases in the U.S.


Summary of Study Procedures

Allesio Fasano, MD, et. al., and colleagues screened 13,145 subjects using serum antigliadin antibodies and anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA). Those who had positive EMA results were screened again for human tissue transglutaminase IgA antibodies and CD-associated human leukocyte antigen DQ2/DQ8 haplotypes, and when possible, intestinal biopsies were also given. Additionally, for those with biopsy-proven celiac disease, 4,508 first-degree relatives and 1, 275 second-degree relatives were also screened for the disease.

 


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