Actual Celiac Rates Up 500% Since 1950’s

I’ve seen so many people on social media and journalists post and comment that Celiac Disease is not on the rise, just the diagnosis of it (and that much of it is fake).  I want to do my part so that everyone is informed on the research so we can move on to more helpful topics, like, what to do about the rising rates of Celiac Disease.

There are several seminal studies, two from the same community in Missouri (I’ve posted some citations below but you can find the original research on line).  Spoiler alerts: rates are up about 500% since the 1950s, a disproportionate amount of that increase is seen in older age groups.

Celiac Disease Rates Over the Years

  • 1 in 501 in 1974
  • 1 in 219 in 1989
  • 1 in 100 current day (some sources say 133)

Two Missouri studies echo this, showing the disease rate

  • up 450% in the 50 years after blood samples were taken from military recruits in the 1950’s
  • up 50% from 2000 to 2004 (and seems to have plateaued through 2010 when the study ended-note, these two studies are not additive but are supportive)

The chance you will have Celiac Disease rises with age, and you are more likely to have it if you have a relative with the disease or if you have another autoimmune disorder.  Many common problems, like infertility, can be caused by Celiac Disease.  There are over 300 symptoms to the disease, and only about one-third of Celiacs have gut issues.  Well over 90% of Celiacs are undiagnosed and diagnosis takes on average four years.

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