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Epidemiology and Risk of Psychiatric Disorders Among Celiac Disease Patients: A Population‐Based National Study

Alkhayyat M, Qapaja T, Aggarwal M, Almomani A, Abureesh M, Al-Otoom O, Zmaili M, Mansoor E, Saleh M (2021) Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2021 Feb 8 doi: 10.1111/jgh.15437 

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Background and aim: Celiac disease (CD) is a chronic disorder resulting from an immune reaction to gluten in genetically predisposed individuals. Although several studies have linked CD to psychiatric diseases, there are limited data on this topic. Using a large database, we sought to describe the epidemiology of several psychiatric disorders in CD.

Methods: We queried a multicenter database (Explorys Inc), an aggregate of electronic health record data from 26 major integrated healthcare systems from 2016 to 2020 consisting of 360 hospitals in the USA. A cohort of patients with a Systematized Nomenclature Of Medicine - Clinical Terms diagnosis of CD was identified. Multivariate analysis was performed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 25.

Results: Of the 37 465 810 patients in the database between 2016 and 2020, there were 112 340 (0.30%) individuals with CD. When compared with patients with no history of CD, patients with CD were more likely to have a history of anxiety (odds ratio [OR]: 1.385; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.364-1.407), depression (OR: 1.918; 95% CI: 1.888-1.947), bipolar (OR: 1.321; 95% CI: 1.289-1.354), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (OR: 1.753; 95% CI: 1.714-1.792), eating disorder (OR: 15.84; 95% CI: 15.533-16.154), and childhood autistic disorder (OR: 4.858; 95% CI: 3.626-6.508). Patients with CD and psychiatric conditions were more likely to be smokers, with history of alcohol and substance abuse as well as a history of personality disorder.

Conclusions: In this large database, patients with CD are at increased risk of having multiple psychiatric diseases including anxiety, depression, bipolar, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, eating disorder, and childhood autism. Individual care and referral to psychiatry when appropriate are warranted while taking care of this group of patients.