Population level screening for celiac disease: is now the time?

Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2023 Nov 1;39(6):455-462. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000969. Epub 2023 Aug 24.


Purpose of review: As incidence and prevalence of celiac disease is increasing, subclinical and asymptomatic presentations are more commonly identified through celiac disease screening. However, the United States Preventive Services Task Force released a statement in 2017 maintaining that there is insufficient evidence to recommend general population screening for celiac disease for asymptomatic individuals. This review summarizes the current available evidence on celiac disease screening.

Recent findings: Literature demonstrates that by limiting screening to individuals with recognized symptoms, celiac disease diagnosis is frequently delayed or missed entirely. Most individuals with screening-identified celiac disease have previously unrecognized symptoms that improve through treatment with a gluten-free diet. Screening-identified individuals also demonstrate signs of impaired nutrition, growth, bone health, and quality of life which improve with treatment. Overall, celiac disease screening is viewed favorably by those identified through celiac disease screening programs.

Summary: Individuals with screening-identified celiac disease may still incur complications from untreated disease and receive benefit from treatment with a gluten-free diet. More data is needed to determine the cost effectiveness of different mass screening approaches that incorporate the societal perspective towards screening.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Celiac Disease* / complications
  • Celiac Disease* / diagnosis
  • Celiac Disease* / epidemiology
  • Diet, Gluten-Free
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • United States