Association of Celiac Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Nationwide Register-Based Cohort Study

Am J Gastroenterol. 2022 Sep 1;117(9):1471-1481. doi: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000001834. Epub 2022 May 25.


Introduction: To determine the risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in patients with celiac disease (CeD) (and vice versa ) compared with general-population comparators.

Methods: Using Swedish histopathology and healthcare register data, we identified 48,551 patients with CeD and 83,529 with IBD diagnosed in 1969-2016. Each patient was compared with age- and sex-matched general-population comparators (CeD: n = 240,136; IBD: n = 408,195). Cox regression estimated hazard ratios (HRs) for IBD in patients with CeD and vice versa . Our main analyses were limited to events beyond the first year of follow-up to reduce potential surveillance bias.

Results: During follow-up, 784 (1.6%) patients with CeD were diagnosed with IBD compared with 1,015 (0.4%) matched comparators. In patients with CeD, the HR for IBD was 3.91 (95% confidence interval [CI] 3.56-4.31), with largely similar HRs for Crohn's disease (4.36; 3.72-5.11) and ulcerative colitis (3.40; 3.00-3.85). During follow-up, 644 (0.8%) patients with IBD and 597 (0.1%) comparators were diagnosed with CeD. The HR for CeD in patients with IBD was 5.49 (95% CI 4.90-6.16), with the highest risk estimates seen in ulcerative colitis (HR = 6.99; 6.07-8.05), and the HR for Crohn's disease was 3.31 (2.69-4.06). In patients with CeD and IBD, the diagnostic interval was usually <1 year; however, HRs of 3-4 were seen even after 10 years of follow-up. During 20 years of follow-up, 2.5% of patients with CeD developed incident IBD, and 1.3% of patients with IBD developed CeD.

Discussion: The bidirectional association between CeD diagnosis and IBD warrants attention in the initial assessment and follow-up of these conditions. Their co-occurrence, independent of temporal sequence, suggests shared etiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Celiac Disease* / complications
  • Celiac Disease* / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / diagnosis
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / epidemiology
  • Crohn Disease* / diagnosis
  • Crohn Disease* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / complications
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / epidemiology