Since the end of 2019, the world has been facing an unpredicted COVID-19 pandemic with consequences for the economy, environment, society, and health. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risk of death, bringing unbearable psychological pressure upon people worldwide. For celiac patients, the pandemic may represent an additional burden concerning the inherent aspects of celiac disease (CD) that compromise these individuals' quality of life (QoL). Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate Brazilian celiac patients' QoL during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by its outbreak and rapid spread and subsequent restrictive measures in addition to the dietary restrictions and other burdens caused by CD. This country-wide cross-sectional study was conducted using a self-administered instrument previously validated in Brazilian-Portuguese to investigate the QoL of individuals with CD. Data collected through the online self-administration of the Brazilian version of the celiac disease quality of life questionnaire (CDQ) comprised 674 CD individuals' responses. Although pandemics have historically posed a challenge for Brazilian population, this period was not associated with a negative impact on Brazilian CD individuals' QoL. During the pandemic, the QoL of Brazilian's with CD was more affected by gastrointestinal aspects than emotions and social aspects and worries. Gender, age, marital status, having (or not) children, occupation, and a positive test for COVID-19 did not affect CD individuals' QoL. However, the study revealed a larger burden and diminished QoL for individuals not following a gluten-free diet and those using antidepressants. Additional research is necessary to verify how the length of the pandemic will affect celiac individuals and then compare those outcomes compare to the COVID-19 period and after.
Keywords: COVID-19; celiac disease; pandemic; quality of life.