Celiac disease causes hip fractures

Category: Blog

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, Celiac disease is a serious genetic autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.  It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide.  Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications.

Studies have shown and confirmed that celiac disease is over four times more common today than it was 50 years ago and this is leading to a vast array of health complications including what three studies say: A greater risk in breaking a hip.

Doctors in Argentina have published their findings in which they wrote: More than 50 % of untreated patients with celiac disease have bone loss detected. Moreover, patients with celiac disease are more likely to have osteoporosis and fragility fractures

Although still controversial, the Argentine doctors recommend DXA screening (bone mineral density) in all celiac disease patients, particularly in those with symptomatic celiac disease at diagnosis and in those who present risk factors for fracture such as older age, menopausal status, previous fracture history, and familial hip fracture history. 1

In the latest study looking at men, a research team lead by doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, investigated the association between celiac disease and bone mass density  and risk of osteoporotic fractures in the general US population. In men over 40 years old was found to be a significant risk for hip fracture.2

Doctors in Europe agree, they wrote bone fractures were almost twice as common in individuals with a clinically diagnosed celiac disease as in those without the disease. . . Celiac disease was associated with a 30% increase  in the risk of any fracture and a 69% increase in the risk of hip fracture.3

In the European study cited above, doctors wrote that celiac disease patients face a higher risk of breaking a bone, but studies have reached contradictory conclusions about whether the fracture risk remains elevated long after the disease is diagnosed and managed with a gluten-free diet.

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1 Zanchetta MB, Longobardi V, Bai JC. Bone and Celiac Disease. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2016 Apr;14(2):43-8. doi: 10.1007/s11914-016-0304-5. Review.
2. Heikkila K, Pearce J, Maki M, Kaukinen K. Celiac disease and bone fractures: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Jan;100(1):25-34. doi: 10.1210/jc.2014-1858.
3. Kamycheva E, Goto T, Camargo CA Jr. Celiac disease is associated with reduced bone mineral density and increased FRAX scores in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Osteoporos Int. 2016 Oct 6. [Epub ahead of print]