Celiac disease and bone fractures: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Jan;100(1):25-34. doi: 10.1210/jc.2014-1858.


Context: Celiac disease, an autoimmune disease induced by dietary gluten, is associated with metabolic bone disorders, such as low bone mineral density. However, it is unclear whether this translates into an association between celiac disease and such hard clinical outcomes as bone fractures.

Objective: To systematically review and pool the evidence for the relationship of celiac disease with prevalence and incidence of bone fractures.

Data sources: We systematically searched Pubmed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library in January 2014 for studies of celiac disease and bone fractures.

Study selection: Observational studies of any design, in which bone fracture outcomes were compared in individuals with and without celiac disease were included.

Data extraction: Two investigators independently extracted results from eligible studies.

Data synthesis: In the meta-analyses of case-control and cross-sectional studies, bone fractures were almost twice as common in individuals with a clinically diagnosed celiac disease as in those without the disease. In the meta-analyses of prospective studies, celiac disease at baseline was associated with a 30% increase (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.14, 1.50) in the risk of any fracture and a 69% increase in the risk of hip fracture (95% CI: 1.10, 2.59). The two studies of unrecognized celiac disease (elevated circulating concentrations of celiac disease-specific autoantibodies but no celiac disease diagnosis) had contradicting findings.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that clinically diagnosed celiac disease and bone fractures co-occur and that celiac disease was associated with an increased risk of hip fractures as well as fractures in general. Further research would be needed to determine whether unrecognized celiac disease is associated with the risk of bone fractures.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density*
  • Celiac Disease / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Prevalence