Background: Prospective epidemiological studies based on serological methods have shown that celiac disease is more common than previously thought. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of celiac disease among apparently healthy blood donors in Iceland.
Methods: Plasma samples were obtained from 813 apparently healthy blood donors at the FSA Hospital Blood Bank in Akureyri, Iceland, between December 2004 and January 2007 and screened for human tissue transglutaminase IgA antibodies. Positive samples were retested and, if the test was again positive, the subject was referred to a gastroenterologist for clinical examination and a duodenoscopy with mucosal biopsies.
Results: Six subjects tested positive for tissue transglutaminase. The prevalence of biopsy-confirmed celiac disease, according to modified Marsh classification, among apparently healthy blood donors in Iceland was found to be 1:136 (0.74%, 95% confidence interval 1/667-1/75, 0.15-1.33%).
Conclusion: Prevalence of celiac disease in Iceland is similar to what has been reported in many other countries.