September 9, 2019

Celiac Disease & First Degree Relatives

Celiac disease affects approximately 1% of the population in Western countries, yet about 83% of those who suffer from the disease go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed. In 2019, celiac diagnostic rates are estimated to reach between 50 and 60% due to raising disease awareness.  

A 2019 study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that screening for celiac disease in first-degree relatives (parents, children, and siblings) of those who have been diagnosed with celiac disease resulted in high diagnostic rates. Out of 360 first-degree relatives of 104 celiac patients screened for the disease, 160 relatives were diagnosed – approximately 44% of the first-degree relatives. It’s important to note that 42 of the diagnosed relatives had no celiac symptoms and 97 had nonclassical symptoms.  

Many physicians have noted the study findings and are recommending screening for celiac disease in all first-degree relatives of celiac disease patients.