Quality of life of adult coeliac patients treated for 10 years

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1998 Sep;33(9):933-8. doi: 10.1080/003655298750026949.


Background: For patients with coeliac disease, adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD) is essential to restore the intestinal mucosa. It is less clear whether this ensures well-being of the patient. We have therefore assessed aspects of the quality of life of adult coeliac patients who had been on a GFD for 10 years.

Methods: By means of the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36), the subjective health status was measured in 89 adult coeliac patients (61% women) aged 35-74 years. Patients shown to be in histologic remission (n=60) were evaluated by means of the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS).

Results: The coeliac patients scored significantly lower in the SF-36 than general population, notably within the General Health and Vitality domains. The low scoring was confined to the female patients, who also reported significantly more gastrointestinal symptoms in the GSRS than the male coeliacs. The functional status and perceived health of the coeliac patients appeared unrelated to their biopsy findings.

Conclusions: After 10 years on a GFD adult coeliac patients fail to attain the same degree of subjective health as the general population. This is particularly true for female patients and suggests that factors beyond normalization of the intestinal mucosa are of importance for the perceived health status of coeliacs diagnosed in adult life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Celiac Disease / diet therapy*
  • Celiac Disease / psychology*
  • Female
  • Glutens / administration & dosage
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*


  • Glutens