Is there a link between coeliac disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

New York researchers, who examined a database of coeliac patients seen at the Columbia University Medical Centre between 1981 and 2002, found that of the 455 patients, five also suffered from Crohn’s and five from ulcerative colitis.

This suggests that slightly more people with coeliac disease may have IBD than in the general population.

The researchers pointed out that the database was of patients with complex coeliac disease and that was in an area of New York with a high Jewish population, amongst whom IBD is more common than in other ethnic groups.

However, they also pointed to other studies that suggest links between IBD and coeliac disease may be more than coincidental, although noting that since both IBD and coeliac disease are both inflammatory conditions, it would be possible for doctors to confuse Crohn’s with coeliac disease, as both involve the upper bowel.

Nonetheless, the study suggests that the possibility of IBD should always be taken into account when assessing coeliac patients.

Alice Yang et al. Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Patients with Celiac disease. Inflammatory Bowel Disease, vol 11, no 6, June 2005

Courtesy of the National Association for Crohn’s and Colitis.
Tel: 0845 130 2233


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