Coronary artery disease (CAD) is associated with celiac disease, however few studies have explored what makes a patient with celiac disease have an increased risk of developing CAD. A recent study found that the risk of developing CAD in celiac patients is increased for white males, and patients with celiac disease and CAD are more likely to have disorders such as high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and iron-deficiency anemia.  

This study had three objectives: 1) Evaluate potential demographic differences between celiac patients with CAD and celiac patients without CAD, 2) Analyze the risk factors of CAD in celiac patients, and 3) Compare celiac patients who have CAD to CAD patients who don’t have celiac disease to determine if there is an additional risk of CAD in individuals with celiac disease. 

Researchers found that out of 23,441 people hospitalized with celiac disease between 2016-2018, 4,244 (18%) were found to have CAD. Risk factors for CAD in celiac patients included hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and a family history of CAD. Female celiac patients had a 55% lower chance of developing CAD than male celiac patients, and younger celiac patients had a lower chance of developing CAD than older celiac patients. In celiac patients 65 or older, 72% had CAD; in celiac patients aged 41-64, 26% had CAD; and in celiac patients aged 18-40, 2% had CAD.  

The odds of a celiac patient developing CAD were five times higher if the patient had high cholesterol, two times higher if the patient had type 2 diabetes, and 1.2 times higher if the patient had hypertension. Patients with celiac disease and CAD had a higher prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia compared to CAD patients without celiac disease and celiac disease patients without CAD. It’s important for celiac patients who have hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, or a family history of CAD to be screened for CAD in order to get prompt and comprehensive treatment if necessary.  

Click here to read the full study.  

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