Celiac disease is a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which as you now know is found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. Scientists believed that the celiac disease could develop in the childhood in response to initial exposure to gluten. The latest study reveals that these assumptions must be reevaluated as people can develop autoimmune disorder much later in their life.
About the study
The study was lead by Dr. Carlo Catassi, of the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona, Italy, who also serves as co-director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Celiac Research.
- Researchers tagged on to a study designed to identify risk factors for cancer and heart disease.
- 3500 people participated in the study.
- Blood samples from participants were taken in 1974 and again in 1989.
- The researchers tested those blood samples for biomarkers related to celiac disease.
The findings are reported in the Sept. 27 online edition of Annals of Medicine.
- 1 in every 133 people has celiac disease.
- This number has gone up from 501 to 1 in 1974 and 219 in 1 in 1989. Researchers also noted that 15 of the 16 people who had celiac disease were not diagnosed in 1947 as suppose to 1989.
- Overall, the prevalence of the disease more than doubled from 0.21% to 0.45%.
- At least two people developed the disorder after they turned 50.
there has been increase in the celiac disease cases?
Researchers acknowledged that, it is difficult to pin down the exact cause of celiac disease. Some of the factors that contribute to it include:
- Genetics – some people are born with it. Researchers siad that genetic predisposition doesn’t necessarily translate into actual illness as people without a predisposition can develop gluten intolerance.
- Environmental factors
“What has changed in the environment in the last 30 years?” Fasano said. “We have more antibiotics, more vaccinations, bioengineered foods, chemicals we haven’t been exposed to, and pollutants that haven’t been around in the concentrations we have now.”
Celiac disease is a tough disease to deal with as your options for eating food are much more limited, especially if you are a vegetarian and wheat (gluten) is your staple diet. I have seen a family member suffer from celiac disease and little bit of cross contaimination can upset your stomach. The good news is that food companies are realizing more and more about the celiac disease and are offering much more options that ever.
Source: LA Times