No Increased Risk of Colorectal Cancer Among Celiacs

September 7, 2010

No Increased Risk of Colorectal Cancer Among Celiacs


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A new study confirms that celiacs and non-celiacs have a similar risk for colorectal cancer.

Celiac disease may increase the risk of some diseases, including Type 1 diabetes and thyroid cancer, but it does not appear to affect the prevalence of colorectal cancer. Researchers from the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University have confirmed that celiac patients have relatively the same risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to the general population. Among celiacs tested, 13% had at least one colorectal adenoma present; among non-celiacs, 17% did.

“In both celiac patients and controls, older age and male gender were significantly associated with increased adenoma risk. More specifically, relative risk increased by 4% with each additional year of age, and men had a 2.33-fold increased risk compared with women.”

Researchers also concluded that the similarity is in fact valid and not due to increased surveillance or screening among celiacs.

“The lack of increased risk of CRC observed in population studies is related to a true average risk of colorectal neoplasia, rather than artifactually reflecting increased colonoscopy and associated polypectomies in the celiac population,”the authors said.

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