10 Facts about Celiac Disease Incidence


Celiac disease effects 1% of healthy average Americans. That means at least 3 million people in our country are living with celiac disease - 97% of them are undiagnosed.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:

  1. In average healthy people: 1 in 133
  2. In people with related symptoms: 1 in 56
  3. In people with first-degree relatives (parent, child, sibling) who are celiac: 1 in 22
  4. In people with second-degree relatives (aunt, uncle, cousin) who are celiac: 1 in 39
  5. Estimated prevalence for African-, Hispanic- and Asian-Americans: 1 in 236
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. Only 35% of newly diagnosed patients had chronic diarrhea, dispelling the myth that diarrhea must be present to diagnose celiac disease(1).
  9. Celiac disease affects at least 3 million Americans.
  10. 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.


Milo graphic

Milo says….

I found a bone under some leaves in the yard today. I forgot that I put it there. What a GREAT day!


2 thoughts on “10 Facts about Celiac Disease Incidence

  1. I love the timing of this post about celiac with Celiac Disease Awareness Month just around the corner! With regards to number 10, my recent reading have really enlightened me to the problem with lymphoma for those who have refractory sprue/refractory celiac disease. While my villi have been on the mend, this is a real problem for some in the celiac community, and I appreciate your post so much!

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