Objectives: We aimed to investigate whether long-term adherence to a gluten-free diet is related to depressive symptoms in coeliac disease (CD) patients.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed in 2265 adult CD patients recruited through the Dutch Coeliac Association. Self-reported diet adherence was compared among groups based on self-reported depressive symptoms (categorized into current [1-month], remitted, and never).
Results: The life-time prevalence rate of self-reported depressive symptoms was 39.0% (n=883), of whom 270 (11.9%) suffered from current depressive symptoms. Adherence to gluten-free diet was strict in 50.2% of patients, sufficient in 46.3%, and insufficient in 3.6%. Insufficient adherence was not associated with current depressive symptoms (odds ratio [OR] 0.95; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.48-1.92). Keeping a gluten-free diet for longer than five years was associated with lower OR of current depressive symptoms compared to being on a diet for less than two years (OR 0.69; 95% CI: 0.50-0.95).
Conclusions: Lifetime depressive symptoms may be present in one third of the CD patients who adhere to gluten-free diet. Long-term adherence to the gluten-free diet may reduce the risk of current depressive symptoms.
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