The New Epidemiology of Celiac Disease

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Abstract

The prevalence of celiac disease (CD) varies greatly, but several reports have shown that CD is increasing in frequency in different geographic areas. The increase in prevalence can be partially attributed to the improvement in diagnostic techniques and disease awareness; however the equally well documented rise in incidence in the last 30–40 years cannot be so easily explained. The new epidemiology of CD is now characterized by an increase of new cases in the historical CD areas (northern Europe and the United States) and more interestingly in a spread of the disease in new regions (Asian countries). A significant change in diet habits, particularly in gluten consumption as well as in infant feeding patterns are probably the main factors that can account for these new trends in CD epidemiology.

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