Celiac disease is diagnosed less frequently in young adult males

Dig Dis Sci. 2014 Jul;59(7):1509-12. doi: 10.1007/s10620-014-3025-6. Epub 2014 Jan 21.


Background: The female predominance in celiac disease is difficult to explain because population-based screening studies reveal similar rates for celiac disease-specific autoantibodies in males and females.

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the role of age and gender in the presentation of celiac disease.

Methods: The frequency of presentation according to age, gender and mode of presentation was determined by analysis of a prospectively maintained database of children and adults seen at a tertiary medical center.

Results: Of 1,682 patients (68 % female) aged 3 months to 86 years who were diagnosed with celiac disease, age at diagnosis in females peaked at 40-45 years, whereas the age at diagnosis for males had two peaks: 10-15 and 35-40 years. A significantly lower percentage of males in early adulthood were diagnosed compared with males in all other age groups (P < 0.0001). The young and elderly had a more even gender distribution.

Conclusions: Based on our analysis, males are diagnosed with celiac disease less frequently than females, especially in early adulthood. There should be more emphasis on the diagnosis of celiac disease among young adult males.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City
  • Sex Distribution
  • Young Adult