Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Adolescents with Celiac Disease: A Cross-sectional Population-Based Study

Amit Assa*, Yael Frenkel-Nir, Dorit Tzur, Lior H. Katz, Raanan Shamir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Recent data have shown that adults with celiac disease (CD) may have a higher prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared with the general population. Thus, we aimed to investigate the association of CD with CVD risk factors at late adolescence in a cross-sectional population-based study. Methods: A total of 2,001,353 Jewish Israeli adolescents who underwent a general health examination at median age of 17.1 years from 1988 to 2015 were included. Covariate data included demographic measures, blood pressure (BP), resting heart rate, and risk factors associated with CVD. Results: Overall, 10,566 cases of CD were identified (0.53%). Multivariate analysis showed that mean diastolic BP was significantly lower in subjects with CD (men: 72.0±8.7 vs 70.4 ± 8.5, P < 0.0001; women: 70.0 ± 8.3 vs 69.0 ± 8.2, P < 0.0001), whereas systolic BP did not differ between groups. Resting heart rate was higher in CD cases (an absolute difference of 0.4 beats per minute, P < 0.0001). The proportions of overweight and obese subjects were significantly lower in CD cases. Noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (relative risk [RR], 4.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.8-5.7), hypercoagulability (RR, 2.6; 95% CI 1.5-4.5), and hyperlipidemia (RR, 1.9; 95% CI 1.2-3) were significantly more common in subjects with CD. Conclusions: At the age of 17 years, the prevalence of risk factors for CVD is higher in subjects with CD compared with the general population. There is, however, neither increase in BP nor increase in overweight and obesity rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-194
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • blood pressure
  • body mass index
  • diabetes
  • heart rate
  • hypercoagulability
  • hyperlipidemia


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