Fourfold increase in the rate of diagnosed cases of Celiac disease in the UK

May 11, 2014, University of Nottingham

Coeliac UK, the national charity for coeliac disease announces today, May 12, 2014, new research from the University of Nottingham that has found a fourfold increase in the rate of diagnosed cases of coeliac disease in the United Kingdom over the past two decades, but, still three quarters of people with coeliac disease remain undiagnosed.

The National Institute of Health & Care Excellence (NICE) previously estimated that only 10 - 15% of those with had been diagnosed, however, this latest research by Dr Joe West from University of Nottingham, funded by Coeliac UK and CORE has shown that the level of diagnosis has increased to 24%.

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten. Left untreated it may lead to infertility, osteoporosis and small bowel cancer. 1 in 100 people in the UK have coeliac disease, with the prevalence rising to 1 in 10 for close family members

The only treatment for coeliac disease is a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye and, once diagnosed, people with coeliac disease need to eliminate all gluten-containing foods and make sure they only eat gluten-free varieties.

Researchers identified the number of people diagnosed during the study period using the diagnostic codes for coeliac disease recorded in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (1990-2011).

This research, published by The American Journal of Gastroenterology comes out as the charity celebrates its annual Awareness campaign which this year is entitled the 'Gluten-free Guarantee' and aims to improve availability of gluten-free foods in stores across the UK.

Sarah Sleet, Chief Executive of Coeliac UK said: "This latest research shows that nearly a quarter of people with coeliac disease have now been diagnosed and gives an up to date picture of the diagnosis levels across the UK. Of course, increasing numbers with a diagnosis is good news and will inevitably mean that there will be an increased demand for gluten-free products in supermarkets. But the three quarters undiagnosed is around 500,000 people – a shocking statistic that needs urgent action."

From 12-18 May 2014 the charity is asking people across the UK to support the 'Gluten-free Guarantee' which asks supermarkets to commit to have in stock eight core items of gluten-free food, making it easier for people with the condition to manage their gluten-free diet, which is their only treatment.

"Can you imagine going into your local supermarket and there is no bread you can eat, not one loaf not one slice? And when you check out the pasta, cereal or flour again there is nothing available on the shelf which means you have to trawl around two or three stores in order to be able to find your staple foods. This is not about your preferred brand but about the major supermarkets ensuring that they have sufficient stock in all their stores whatever their size for this growing market of people who depend on gluten-free food for their health."

The symptoms of coeliac disease range from mild to severe and can vary between individuals. Not everyone with coeliac disease experiences gut related symptoms; any area of the body can be affected. Symptoms can include ongoing gut problems such as bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, and wind, and other common symptoms include extreme tiredness, anaemia, headaches and mouth ulcers, weight loss (but not in all ), skin problems, depression, and joint or bone pain.

Explore further: New test could simplify the diagnosis of coeliac disease

More information: The fourfold increase relates to the rate of diagnosis (incidence i.e. 5.2 per 100,000 years in 1990 v's 19.1 per 100,000 years in 2011). The 24% diagnosed relates to the point prevalence on 30 June 2011 i.e. the proportion of the population diagnosed with coeliac disease at a set point in time which was 0.24% i.e. 24% of the estimated 1% determined from previous screening studies. www.nature.com/ajg/journal/vao … /abs/ajg201455a.html

Related Stories

New test could simplify the diagnosis of coeliac disease

January 13, 2014
A new blood test being developed by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers can rapidly and accurately diagnose coeliac disease without the need for prolonged gluten exposure.

New approach to celiac testing identifies more Australians at risk

August 27, 2013
Australian researchers have developed a new approach to detecting coeliac disease, revealing this immune disorder is far more common than previously recognised.

Research gives new insight into coeliac disease

October 11, 2012
For the first time, scientists have visualised an interaction between gluten and T-cells of the immune system, providing insight into how coeliac disease, which affects approximately 1 in 133 people, is triggered.

Digestive disorder reaches record levels in Scots children

September 17, 2013
More children than ever before are living with a debilitating digestive disease, research has shown.

Celiac disease vaccine shows promising results in Phase I trial

May 9, 2011
The world's first potential vaccine for coeliac disease has shown promising results for treating coeliac disease in a Phase I clinical trial and is expected to move to Phase II trials within the next year.

Recommended for you

Medical marijuana might help MS patients, but uncertainty remains

October 13, 2018
Medical products derived from marijuana might have a mild benefit in treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis, based on reports from patients.

Do not give decongestants to young children for common cold symptoms, say experts

October 11, 2018
Decongestants should not be given to children under 6—and given with caution in children under 12—as there is no evidence that they alleviate symptoms such as a blocked or runny nose, and their safety is unclear, say ...

New techniques can detect Lyme disease weeks before current tests

October 11, 2018
Researchers have developed techniques to detect Lyme disease bacteria weeks sooner than current tests, allowing patients to start treatment earlier.

Pneumonia-causing bacteria can be spread by nose picking and rubbing

October 11, 2018
Pneumonia-causing bacteria can be spread through picking and rubbing the nose, according to new research published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Plant compound found to have therapeutic effect on complications from snakebites

October 11, 2018
Rutin, a flavonoid, may complement antivenom as an effective co-treatment for envenoming from Bothrops jaraca.

Photoactive bacteria bait may help in fight against MRSA infections

October 11, 2018
Purdue University researchers are testing whether a light-active version of heme, the molecule responsible for transporting oxygen in blood circulation, may help people infected with MRSA.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.