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Celiac 'Epidemics' Link to Infections Early in Life

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Waverunner, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

    These kind of studies are thought-provoking. We get closer and closer to understanding diseases but we haven't reached the full picture yet. The question here is, if a genetic predisposition leads to celiac disease and an increased risk for infection, or if infections somehow can lead to an increased risk for celiac disease.

    The latter would correlate to "epidemics", that sometimes seem to show up with celiac disease. They also found out, that breast feeding reduces the risk of celiac disease for children. But why? Does the milk contain substances that help to fight infections or are there other explanations?

    Dec. 19, 2012 — Celiac disease affects about 1% of the population but occasional ‘epidemics’ have been noticed along with a seasonal variation in number of cases diagnosed. New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Pediatrics indicates that repeated infections early in life increases the risk for celiac disease.

    A Sweden-based, case controlled, study compared the health history of children diagnosed with celiac disease to similar children without celiac disease. The average age of development of celiac was at 11 months old, with diagnosis four months later. The team from Umeå University and Uppsala University found that having three or more infections (reported by parents) increased risk of celiac disease by 50%. Gastroenteritis on its own increased the risk by 80%.

    The highest risk was seen for children who had several infections before they were six months old and who also ate large amounts (compared to small/medium amounts) of gluten, soon after gluten was introduced, and if breastfeeding had stopped before the introduction of gluten to the babies’ diet.

    Dr Anna Myléus, who led this study, explained, “While we do not know if the increased risk is due to a genetic predisposition to both infection and celiac disease, our results highlight the importance of breast feeding in reducing risk of celiac disease, especially for an infant who has frequent infections.”
    SickOfSickness and Merry like this.

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