Risk of Eating Disorders in Patients With Celiac Disease

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Abstract

Objectives:

Several cases of eating disorders (EDs) have been reported in patients with celiac disease (CD), suggesting that ED could be a comorbidity associated with CD. Few epidemiological studies have, however, assessed this potential association. We aimed to evaluate the risk of EDs in individuals diagnosed with CD in comparison to healthy controls.

Methods:

A total of 98 cases and 98 controls matched for sex, age, and body mass index between 10 and 23 years old were studied. A questionnaire was completed on medical history and sociodemographic as well as anthropometric characteristics. Various ED screening self-reported tests were administered.

Results:

A total of 61.2% of the study population were girls with a mean age of 15.3 ± 3.7 years old. Patients with CD scored nonsignificantly higher on all the ED screening tests than control participants. No differences were observed between study groups in terms of the frequency of individuals who exceeded the clinical cutoff identifying those at risk of ED. Patients with CD above 13 years old were associated with a 2.15-point increase in the Eating Attitude Test score compared with controls [β-coefficient = 2.15 SE 1.04; P = 0.04] after adjusting for various confounders.

Conclusions:

Although being a patient with CD was associated with a significantly higher Eating Attitude Test score in individuals older than 13 years old, no clear differences were observed between individuals with CD and controls in terms of risk of ED when other screening tests were used. More studies with larger samples and prospective designs are warranted to confirm these findings.

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