In a new study, researchers conducted a meta-analysis and review of studies from all over the world to estimate the global prevalence of celiac disease and identify possible variations in prevalence between different regions and populations. Prevalence refers to the proportion of individuals who have a condition at or during a particular time period. A meta-analysis is a statistical method used to combine research study data to summarize the results of multiple studies.
The authors reviewed 96 studies published between January 1991 through March 2016 from Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, North America, and Australia. Celiac disease diagnosis was based on a positive celiac-specific blood test, a small intestinal biopsy revealing abnormalities, or a combination of both.
The results of the meta-analysis found the current worldwide prevalence of celiac disease to be 1.4% based on blood tests and 0.7% based on biopsy results. The prevalence of celiac disease was 4% in South America, 0.5% in Africa and North America, 0.6% in Asia, and 0.8% in Europe and Oceania. The prevalence was higher in female than male individuals, and was significantly greater in children than adults. In conclusion, the prevalence of celiac disease varies with sex, age, and location.
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Global Prevalence of Celiac Disease