Risk of dementia in patients with celiac disease: a population-based cohort study.


BACKGROUND: Patients with celiac disease (CD) frequently report cognitive symptoms when they are exposed to gluten, and cognitive deficits have been quantified in patients with newly diagnosed CD. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether patients with CD have an increased risk of dementia. METHODS: Using a population-based database of older adults (age ≥50 years) with histologically proven CD (duodenal/jejunal villous atrophy) from all 28 pathology departments in Sweden, we compared the incidence of a subsequent dementia diagnosis to those of age- and gender-matched controls. RESULTS: Among patients with CD (n = 8,846) and controls (n = 43,474), the median age was 63 years and 56% were female. During a median follow-up time of 8.4 years, dementia was diagnosed in 4.3% of CD patients and 4.4% of controls (HR 1.07; 95% CI 0.95-1.20). Although there was an increased risk of dementia in the first year following a diagnosis of CD (HR 1.73; 95% CI 1.15-2.61), this risk was not present in the whole observation period. Among those subjects with a dementia subtype specified, the increased risk was restricted to vascular dementia (HR 1.28; 95% CI 1.00-1.64) and was not present for Alzheimer's dementia (HR 1.12; 95% CI 0.91-1.37). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with CD are not at increased risk for dementia overall, though subgroup analysis suggests that they may be at increased risk for vascular dementia.


Lebwohl, Benjamin; Luchsinger, José A; Freedberg, Daniel E; Green, Peter H R; Ludvigsson, Jonas F;

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