The aim of this analysis was to assess in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) the risk of celiac disease and in celiac disease patients the risk of IBD.
Previous studies report a possible association between IBD and celiac disease; however, this link is controversial.
Using the search terms “inflammatory bowel disease” and “celiac disease,” we identified initially 1525 publications. In total 27 studies met inclusion criteria. Proportions and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the prevalence of IBD in celiac disease and vice versa were compared with published prevalence rates for the respective geographic regions.
We included 41,482 adult IBD patients (20,357 with Crohn’s disease; 19,791 with ulcerative colitis; and 459 patients with celiac disease). Overall, in IBD patients the prevalence of celiac disease was 1110/100,000 (95% CI, 1010-1210/100,000) as compared with a prevalence of 620/100,000 (95% CI, 610-630/100,000) in the respective populations (odds ratio, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.99-2.50). In contrast, in patients with celiac disease, 2130/100,000 had IBD (95% CI, 1590-2670/100,000) as compared with 260/100,000 (95% CI, 250/100,000-270/100,000) in the respective populations (odds ratio, 11.10; 95% CI, 8.55-14.40). This effect was not different for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Although there was no evidence for publication bias for celiac disease in IBD, the funnel plot suggested that the association between IBD in celiac disease might be influenced by publication bias.
The data are consistent with the notion that celiac disease is a risk factor for IBD and to lesser degree patients with IBD have an increased risk of celiac disease.