COVID-19 pandemic perception in adults with celiac disease: an impulse to implement the use of telemedicine

Dig Liver Dis. 2020 Oct;52(10):1071-1075. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2020.05.014. Epub 2020 May 16.


Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes severe complications and deaths all over the world. COVID-19 also has indirect effects from the lockdown and the possible lack of food. We aimed to evaluate the perception of this in Celiac Disease (CeD) patients who require a lifelong gluten-free diet as a therapy.

Methods: We invited by e-mail CeD adult patients from the University of Salerno (Campania, South Italy) and the University of Padua (Veneto, North Italy) to answer an ad hoc COVID-19 survey.

Results: We sent the web survey to 651 email addresses and we received 276 answers (42,4%). CeD patients did not feel more vulnerable because they had CeD (not at all 56.6%) and they did not worry much about the possible shortness of gluten-free food during the epidemic (not at all 48.5%). The most worried were the elderly patients, patients with other comorbidities and females. Finally, CeD patients were happy with remote consultations and explicitly asked to have them.

Discussion: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted a proportion of patients with CeD; in particular, women, elderly patients, patients with other comorbidities. COVID-19, although a challenging experience from the medical and the psychological point of view, has offered an opportunity to practice, on a large-scale, a remote consultation approach for CeD healthcare.

Keywords: Anxiety; COVID-19; Celiac disease; Gluten-free diet; depression.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anxiety*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Betacoronavirus
  • Boron Compounds
  • COVID-19
  • Celiac Disease / diet therapy*
  • Celiac Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diet, Gluten-Free*
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Food Supply*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Methacrylates
  • Methylmethacrylates
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Patient Preference*
  • Perception
  • Pneumonia, Viral
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine*


  • Boron Compounds
  • Methacrylates
  • Methylmethacrylates
  • Super-bond