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Study shows increased incidence of celiac disease

ROCHESTER, Minn. — A population-based study in Olmsted County, Minn., has shown an increase in the incidence of celiac disease, a digestive condition triggered by eating protein gluten.

The study, which appeared in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, used records from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, as well as medical, histopathology, and CD serology records to identify all new cases of CD in Olmsted County from 2000 to 2010. Findings concluded that 249 people were diagnosed with CD within the decade, an increase of 11.1 per 100,000 people to 17.4 per 100,000 people. While the study concluded, "The incidence of CD has continued to increase in the past decade in a North American population," the authors noted a "two-slope pattern, with the incidence leveling off after 2004."

According to the Mayo Clinic's website, "People with celiac disease who eat foods containing gluten experience an immune reaction in their small intestines, causing damage to the inner surface of the small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients."

Common symptoms include abdominal pain and diarrhea. The decreased nutrient absorption can also cause vitamin deficiencies that can provide vital nourishment to the body. There is no cure for celiac disease, though changes in diet can help manage the disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Protein gluten is commonly found in breads, pastas, pizza crusts, and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye.


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