The retrospective study of 309 adults newly diagnosed with celiac disease at Mayo Clinic from 2000 to 2014 also found that low body weight and weight loss, which are commonly associated with celiac disease, were less common.
Weight loss was seen in only 25.2% of patients, and the average body mass index was categorized as overweight.
Celiac disease is an immune reaction to consuming gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Eating gluten triggers an immune response in the small intestine that over time damages the intestine's lining and prevents it from absorbing some nutrients, leading to diarrhea, fatigue, anemia, weight loss, and other complications.
Based on recent data, the prevalence of the celiac disease in the U.S. is 1 in 141 people, and its prevalence has increased over the past 50 years.
"Our study suggests that the presentation of celiac disease has changed from the classic weight loss, anemia, and diarrhea, with increasing numbers of patients diagnosed with nonclassical symptoms," says Dr. Bledsoe, the study's primary author.
"Micronutrient deficiencies remain common in adults, however, and should be assessed." Assessment should include vitamin D, iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, zinc, and copper.
Zinc deficiency was observed most frequently at diagnosis, the study says, with 59.4% of patients having a deficiency. Other deficiencies included iron, vitamin D, copper, vitamin B12, and folate.
The nutritional deficiencies have potential health ramifications, though, in this retrospective study, the clinical implications remain unknown. "Further studies are needed to better define the implications of the deficiencies, optimal replacement strategies, and follow-up," says Dr. Bledsoe.
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