How does the prevalence of celiac disease vary by age?

Updated: Oct 10, 2018
  • Author: Stephan U Goebel, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

The age distribution of patients with celiac disease is bimodal, the first at 8-12 months and the second in the third to fourth decades. The mean age at diagnosis is 8.4 years (range, 1-17 y).

Celiac disease might become apparent in infants when gluten ingestion begins. Symptoms of celiac disease might persist throughout childhood if untreated but usually diminish in adolescence. Symptoms often reappear in early adulthood, between the third and fourth decades of life.

Approximately 20% of patients with celiac disease are older than 60 years. [12]

Adolescents with celiac disease frequently present with extraintestinal manifestations, including short stature, behavioral problems, fatigue, and skin problems. The diagnosis of celiac disease is often not established until middle age or old age.


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