Research Article

Coeliac disease and immunological disorders.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 04 March 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:537
  1. B T Cooper,
  2. G K Holmes,
  3. W T Cooke


    Out of 314 patients with coeliac disease, 63 had associated disorders of known or suspected immunological cause (excluding aphthous stomatitis and dermatitis herpetiformis). Autoimmune diseases appeared to occur more often in patients with coeliac disease than in the normal population, 52 such diseases being found in 45 patients. Of individual disorders, diabetes mellitus, thyroid diseases, and ulcerative colitis seemed to be more common than expected. Atopy (asthma and eczema) occurred in 7% of the patients. Most of these immunological disorders developed when the patients were on normal diet. A gluten-free diet and virtually normal jejunum did not prevent their development, and the diet had little ameliorating effect on their course apart from an occasional dramatic improvement in atopic patients.