MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Brandon Hyunseok Kim, M.D., MPH
Internal Medicine Resident
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: The background of this study was to investigate the time trends in the prevalence of celiac disease and gluten-free diet in the United States using most recent 6-year National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey. Previous studies using narrow populations or old study period mainly before mid 2000s suggested increasing prevalence of celiac disease. At the same time, there is a current popular trend of people following gluten-free diets beyond what would be expected if it were solely due to the increasing prevalence of celiac disease.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Our study suggests that prevalence of celiac disease has remained stable while prevalence of people on a gluten-free diet without medical indication, mainly celiac disease, has increased significantly over last 6 years, mainly in the non-hispanic white group.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Even though prevalence of celiac disease, a main medical condition that requires gluten-free diet, has remained stable, more people are seeking gluten-free diet over last 6 years in the United States.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Future studies are needed to investigate the characteristics of people who choose to be on a gluten-free diet. This gluten-free diet syndrome may be because of pure fad component with a belief that it is healthier, however, this could be also driven from non-specific gastrointestinal symptoms for which people self diagnosed as gluten-sensitivity after experiencing improvement from gluten-free diet. Moreover, health benefits of gluten-free diet in the general population also needs to be studied since there is currently very few studies whether it is truly healthier.
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Kim H, Patel KG, Orosz E, et al. Time Trends in the Prevalence of Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free Diet in the US Population: Results From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2009-2014.JAMA Intern Med. Published online September 06, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5254.
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