People with coeliac disease have been found to have a higher chance of having heart disease compared to those without coeliac disease.
The findings come from a study using data from the UK Biobank, a large database of health information, to analyse the health outcomes of people with and without coeliac disease. It included prospective records collected between 2006 and 2010 for almost 470,000 adults from England, Scotland, and Wales, aged 40-69 years. Over 2,000 of the participants had coeliac disease but none of them had cardiovascular disease at the outset.
Even though people with Coeliac disease had a lower body weight and blood pressure, were less likely to smoke and had a better cardiovascular risk score, they still had a higher rate of heart disease than those without the disease.
Having coeliac disease was shown to increase the risk of developing heart disease by 27 per cent and this link was not changed even after adjusting for lifestyle factors. This increased risk of heart disease was even stronger after considering other heart disease risk factors. While coeliac disease was linked to an increased risk of heart disease, there was no clear evidence linking it to an increased risk of stroke.
Reference: Conroy M, et al. (2023) Association between coeliac disease and cardiovascular disease: prospective analysis of UK Biobank data. BMJ Medicine;2: e000371. DOI: 10.1136/bmjmed-2022-000371