Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association | 19 Feb 2013
JA Murray, S McLachlan, PC Adams, JH Eckfeldt, CP Garner, CD Vulpe, VR Gordeuk, T Brantner, C Leiendecker-Foster, AA Killeen, RT Acton, LF Barcellos, DA Nickerson, KB Beckman, GD McLaren and CE McLaren
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Celiac disease is an increasingly recognized disorder in Caucasian populations of European origin. Little is known about its prevalence in non-Caucasians. Although it is thought to be a cause of iron deficiency anemia, little is known about the extent to which celiac disease contributes to iron deficiency in Caucasians, and especially non-Caucasians. We analyzed samples collected from participants in the Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening (HEIRS) study to identify individuals with iron deficiency and assess the frequency of celiac disease. METHODS: We analyzed serum samples from white men (25 y old or older) and women (50 y old or older) who participated the HEIRS study; cases were defined as individuals with iron deficiency (serum level of ferritin ≤12 mg/L) and controls were those without (serum level of ferritin >100 mg/L in men and >50 mg/L in women). All samples were also analyzed for human recombinant tissue transglutaminase immunoglobulin A; positive results were confirmed by an assay for endomysial antibodies. Patients with positive results from both celiac disease tests were presumed to have untreated celiac disease, and those with a positive result from only 1 test were excluded from analysis. We analyzed HLA genotypes and frequencies of celiac disease between Caucasians and non-Caucasians with iron deficiency. RESULTS: Celiac disease occurred in 14 of 567 of cases (2.5%) and in only 1 of 1136 controls (0.1%; Fisher’s exact test, P=1.92 10(-6)). Celiac disease was more common in Caucasian cases (14/363, 4%) than non-Caucasian cases (0/204; P=.003). Only 1 Caucasian control and no non-Caucasian controls had celiac disease. The odds of celiac disease in individuals with iron deficiency was 28-fold (95% confidence interval, 3.7-212.8) that of controls; 13/14 cases with celiac disease carried the DQ2.5 variant of the HLA genotype. CONCLUSIONS: Celiac disease is associated with iron deficiency of Caucasians. Celiac disease is rare among non-Caucasians-even among individuals with features of celiac disease, such as iron deficiency. Celiac disease is also rare among individuals without iron deficiency. Men and post-menopausal women with iron deficiency should be tested for celiac disease.
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