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Celiac Disease Health Center

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Who Is Affected by Celiac Disease

The exact number of people who have celiac disease is not known. Newer screening tests have shown that many people with this condition have only mild symptoms or none at all. Because of this and the fact that some doctors may not consider celiac disease as a possible diagnosis when symptoms occur, the condition is now known to be more common than originally believed. About 1 in 100 people in the United States have celiac disease.1

Celiac disease is known to occur:

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  • More often in whites than in people of other races.2
  • More often in first-degree relatives (such as brothers, sisters, parents, sons, and daughters) of people who have the disease.
  • More often in people who have type 1 diabetes.
  • More often in people who have Down syndrome.


  1. American Gastroenterological Association (2006). AGA institute medical position statement on the diagnosis and management of celiac disease. Gastroenterology, 131(6): 1977-1980.

  2. NIH Consensus Statement on Celiac Disease, vol. 21, no. 1 (2004 June 28-30). Available online:

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Jerry S. Trier, MD - Gastroenterology
Last Revised June 18, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 18, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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