Celiac Disease Not a Major Risk for Stroke

July 14, 2011

Celiac Disease Not a Major Risk for Stroke


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New nationwide study counters previous research that suggested high risk among celiac patients.

Individuals with celiac disease face only a small increased risk of stroke at diagnosis, a new study has found. Even more encouraging, celiac patients had no elevated risk of stroke after more than 5 years on a gluten-free diet.

The study, led by renowned celiac researcher Jonas F. Ludvigsson MD, PhD, and a team from Sweden and the UK, examined data on more than 28,600 Swedish patients with biopsy-verified celiac disease. According to the study, patients with celiac disease were at a slightly higher risk of ischemic stroke and brain hemorrhage compared to the control group. Factors like type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and the use of medication for hypertension did not seem to have an impact on stroke risk.

Researchers also noted that after more than 5 years of follow-up after celiac diagnosis, stroke risk was virtually the same as that of the control group.

The researchers noted that a previous study had identified a 10-fold increased risk of death from stroke among those diagnosed with celiac disease in childhood. The small number of participants in this previous study prompted the researchers to conduct a nationwide investigation.

To read more about this study, view the abstract.