Celiac Disease Regression

Celiac disease patients develop osteoporosis 4.5 times more often

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Celiac disease is a condition where patients have a reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat products. Most people manage their celiac disease with a gluten-free diet. No take out pizza or calzone for them!

Not only do they have to change their diet, according to a recent British study, patients with celiac disease are also 4.5 times more likely to develop osteoporosis than healthy people their same age.

"Patients with celiac disease develop osteoporosis more often."

Researchers from the Lancaster University School of Medicine report that this study compared bone mineral density loss in an established control group of patients with the same in age and gender with a group of patients with celiac disease.  

The study shows the gradual detrimental effects of celiac disease are most prevalent in the lower back rather than in the hip joint.

The author surmises that this finding may be due to the fact that the bone in the lumbar spine is spongier, weaker and less dense than the femoral neck (the part of the femur between the long bone and where it inserts into the hip). In other words, it is more susceptible to the detrimental effects of celiac disease. Greater research is needed to nail down why this happens and if there is something that can be done in the future to change that.

The British study of 1,030 people compared the extent of bone mineral density loss(BMD), which is a common measure of osteoporosis, in two different physical locations in the body.

The results demonstrated that the mean BMD of the lumbar spine in patients with celiac disease was significantly different when compared to the control group that did not have celiac disease.

The BMD derived from the femoral neck was not any different in the two groups.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 27, 2011
Last Updated:
May 31, 2011