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Call to find coeliac disease patients

Monday May 12th, 2014

The gluten intolerance disease, coeliac disease, is being found in increasing numbers of people - but remains largely undiagnosed, campaigners claim today.

A new study suggests that four times as many people are being diagnosed with the disease as 20 years ago.

Campaigners say this still represents just 24% of those believed to suffer from the problem, thought to be 1% of the population.

The disease causes severe digestive problems and can contribute to the development of osteoporosis and bowel cancer.

Nottingham University researchers have published their analysis in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

The publication coincides with Coeliac Disease Awareness Week.

Campaigners say that improved awareness will help create pressure for a good range of gluten-free products in the shops.

Sarah Sleet, of Coeliac UK, said: "This latest research shows that nearly a quarter of people with coeliac disease have now been diagnosed and gives an up to date picture of the diagnosis levels across the UK.

"Of course, increasing numbers with a diagnosis is good news and will inevitably mean that there will be an increased demand for gluten-free products in supermarkets. But the three quarters undiagnosed is around 500,000 people - a shocking statistic that needs urgent action."

Incidence and Prevalence of Celiac Disease and Dermatitis Herpetiformis in the UK Over Two Decades: Population-Based Study. Am J Gastroenterol 12 May 2014; 109:757-768; doi:10.1038/ajg.2014.55

Tags: Diet & Food | Gastroenterology | UK News

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