For regular readers, this might sound like a broken record by now, but yet another study indicates that celiac disease is more widespread than people believe and that the vast majority of people with celiac disease don’t even realize they’re suffering from it. This is important to recognize because most people with celiac disease suffer for several years before they’re finally diagnosed. See Celiac Disease Too Often Undiagnosed for more on that frustrating phenomenon.
Dr. James Everhart of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases, along with the Mayo Clinic, determined that about 1 percent of all “non-Hispanic whites” in the United States suffer from celiac disease. The study was published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology.
However, another interesting find (or suggestion) in this study is that celiac disease appears to be significantly more prevalent in non-hispanic whites than in any other ethnic group. This is in line with previous studies that suggested celiac disease may be more prevalent in individuals of northern European or Scandinavian descent.
However, this doesn’t mean others can’t suffer from this disease in significant numbers. And even as I read this I recalled a study conducted in Mexico that suggested closer numbers among different ethnicities. So we’ll see what the next study suggests, I guess.
Dr. Everhart and the Mayo Clinic also teamed to conduct a study of celiac disease among military personnel. The conclusion of this study was that celiac disease appears to be on the rise, and that it isn’t just that we’re better at identifying it than we used to be. According to Dr. Alessio Fasano, this is in line with several other studies suggesting celiac disease is on the rise. Unfortunately, he also stated the number of people undiagnosed and suffering in silence grows faster than the number of diagnosed patients.
If you believe you or someone you know may have celiac disease, consider printing and filling out the celiac disease checklist I provide on this site and taking it to a gastroenterologist experienced with diagnosing celiac disease.