If you have celiac disease, you’ve probably been warned that you may be more susceptible to a range of other diseases — osteoporosis, lupus and arthritis to name a few. But don’t hang your head! A recent study presented at Digestive Disease Week in Chicago, IL suggested that cardiovascular disease, which includes heart failure, coronary artery disease and stroke, was less prevalent among patients with celiac disease.
According to the study, less than 17 percent of the celiac group suffered from high blood pressure, compared to 30 percent of the control group. The study also concluded that patients with celiac disease are less likely to suffer from hypertension and diabetes, generally had lower BMI’s and smoked less frequently.
As of 2010, statistics reported by the Center for Disease Control rank heart disease as one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The lower instance of heart disease among individuals with celiac is likely linked to healthier diets with less consumption of sugars and fats. However, these research results aren’t a get-out-of-heart-disease-free card for non-gluten consumers, and the importance of maintaining a healthy, balanced diet isn’t offset by the findings.
Another recent study published in British Medical Journal: Gut reiterated these findings. Saying that patients with celiac disease were less likely than the general population to die of cardiovascular disease or suffer from respiratory disease, digestive disease or cancer-related deaths. Celiac disease is not as dangerous as previously thought.
Source: BMJ Gasteroenterology Journal: GUT