I found these statistics at CeliacDisease.org. Number seven was disturbing to me. I hope that as this information becomes more widely known, more people will be able to get a proper diagnosis.
Prevalence of Celiac Disease in the United States:
- In average healthy people: 1 in 133
- 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
- In the landmark prevalence study on celiac disease, investigators determined that 60% of children and 41% of adults diagnosed during the study were asymptomatic (without any symptoms).
- During the prevalence study, researchers found that 21% of patients with a positive anti-endomysial antibody test could not receive a biopsy due to the refusal of their physician to perform the procedure or the insurance company to pay for it.
- Only 35% of newly diagnosed patients had chronic diarrhea, dispelling the myth that diarrhea must be present to diagnose celiac disease(1).
- Celiac disease affects at least 3 million Americans.
- The average length of time it takes for a symptomatic person to be diagnosed with celiac disease in the US is four years; this type of delay dramatically increases an individual’s risk of developing autoimmune disorders, neurological problems, osteoporosis and even cancer(2).
(1) Source: A multi-center study on the sero-prevalence of celiac disease in the United States among both at risk and not at risk groups. Fasano et. al., Archives of Internal Medicine. February 2003.
(2) Source: Characteristics of adult celiac disease in the USA: results of a national survey. Green, P.H. et.al. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2001, 2006.
I found a bone under some leaves in the yard today. I forgot that I put it there. What a GREAT day!