A gluten-free diet is the treatment for celiac disease, but pharmaceutical agents are being developed. The level of interest amongst patients in using a medication to treat celiac disease is unknown. This study examined the level of interest amongst patients in medication to treat celiac disease.
A questionnaire was distributed to celiac disease patients and data were collected on demographics, presentation, and interest in medication. Three validated celiac disease-specific instruments were incorporated: Celiac Disease Associated Quality of Life, the Celiac Symptom Index, and the Celiac Dietary Adherence Test.
Responses were received from 365 individuals with biopsy-proven celiac disease. Respondents were 78% (n = 276) female, 48% (n = 170) over 50 years of age, and experienced a classical (diarrhea predominant) presentation in 44% (n = 154). Of the 339 individuals answering the question regarding use of a medication to treat celiac disease, 66% were interested. Interest was greatest in older individuals (71% >50 years of age versus 60% <50 years of age, p = 0.0415), men (78% men versus 62% women, p = 0.0083), frequent restaurant customers (76% versus 58%, p = 0.0006), those dissatisfied with their weight (73% versus 51%, p = 0.0003) and those concerned with the cost of a gluten-free diet (77% versus 64%, p = 0.0176). Length of time since diagnosis, education, presentation, and symptoms with gluten exposure did not demonstrate any effect. Interest in medication was associated with a worse quality of life (CD-QOL 69.4 versus 80.1, p < 0.0001).
Most individuals with celiac disease are interested in using a medication. Interest was highest among men, older individuals, frequent restaurant customers, individuals dissatisfied with their weight or concerned with the cost of a gluten-free diet, and those with a worse quality of life.
Authors: Christina A. Tennyson, Suzanne Simpson, Benjamin Lebwohl, Suzanne Lewis and Peter H. R. Green