Impact of coeliac disease on dietary habits and quality of life

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Coeliac disease (CD) affects approximately 1% of the population in the UK and is managed by the life-long adherence to a strict gluten-free diet (GFD). Adhering to a GFD is practically difficult and not only affects dietary patterns, but also can affect many other aspects of daily life. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of CD and a GFD on dietary habits and quality of life of a cohort of adult biopsy diagnosed coeliac patients who reside in England.


The cohort was composed of 146 adult biopsy-diagnosed CD patients, who were all members of the Coeliac UK charity. Participants responded to a self-administered questionnaire considering dietary habits and quality of life. A food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was used to assess dietary compliance.


Generally, English CD patients reported to be in good physical and emotional health, although there were reports of anxiety and depression as a result of CD, most likely as a result of exclusion from social and leisure activities. The cohort reported high levels of dietary compliance (96%) which was supported by FFQ responses. However, there were reports of intentional gluten intake during social situations and when eating take-away foods. The FFQ revealed further examples of gluten ingestion, presumably unintentional, particularly through the consumption of breakfast cereals and starch-based sauces such as cheese sauce, custard and ketchup.


The present study revealed that CD affects a wide range of daily activities and that gluten consumption may be more common than anticipated with possible consequences on health.

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