Background: Several screening studies have indicated an increased prevalence of celiac disease (CD) among individuals with autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD), but estimates have varied substantially.
Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of CD in patients with ATD.
Method: A systematic review was conducted of articles published in PubMed Medline or EMBASE until September 2015. Non-English papers with English-language abstracts were also included, as were research abstracts without full text available when relevant data were included in the abstract. Search terms included "celiac disease" combined with "hypothyroidism" or "hyperthyroidism" or "thyroid disease." Fixed-effects inverse variance-weighted models were used. Meta-regression was used to examine heterogeneity in subgroups.
Results: A pooled analysis, based on 6024 ATD patients, found a prevalence of biopsy-confirmed CD of 1.6% [confidence interval (CI) 1.3-1.9%]. Heterogeneity was large (I(2) = 70.7%). The prevalence was higher in children with ATD (6.2% [CI 4.0-8.4%]) than it was in adults (2.7%) or in studies examining both adults and children (1.0%). CD was also more prevalent in hyperthyroidism (2.6% [CI 0.7-4.4%]) than it was in hypothyroidism (1.4% [CI 1.0-1.9%]).
Conclusions: About 1/62 patients with ATD have biopsy-verified CD. It is argued that patients with ATD should be screened for CD, given this increased prevalence.