The impact of a gluten-free diet on adults with coeliac disease: results of a national survey
Article first published online: 31 JAN 2006
Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Volume 19, Issue 1, pages 41–49, February 2006
How to Cite
Zarkadas, M., Cranney, A., Case, S., Molloy, M., Switzer, C., Graham, I. D., Butzner, J. D., Rashid, M., Warren, R. E. and Burrows, V. (2006), The impact of a gluten-free diet on adults with coeliac disease: results of a national survey. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 19: 41–49. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-277X.2006.00659.x
- Issue published online: 31 JAN 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JAN 2006
- coeliac disease;
- dietary survey;
- gluten-free diet;
- quality of life
Objective We sought to evaluate the impact of the gluten-free diet on the 5,240 members of the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA). Data are presented on 2,681 adults (≥16 years) with biopsy-proven celiac disease (CD).
Methods A mail-out survey was used. Quality of life was evaluated using the ‘SF12’, and celiac-specific questions.
Results Mean age was 56 years, mean age at diagnosis was 45 years, and 75% were female. The ‘SF12’ summary scores were similar to normative Canadian data, but were significantly lower for females and newly diagnosed patients.
Respondents reported: following a gluten-free (GF) diet (90%), improvement on the diet (83%), and difficulties following the diet (44%), which included: determining if foods were GF (85%), finding GF foods in stores (83%), avoiding restaurants (79%), and avoiding travel (38%). Most common reactions to consumed gluten (among 73%) included pain, diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, nausea, and headache.
Excellent information on CD and its treatment was provided by the CCA (64%), gastroenterologists (28%), dietitians (26%) and family doctor (12%).
Conclusions Quality of life in those with CD could be increased with early diagnosis, increased availability of gluten-free foods, improved food labelling, and better dietary instruction. Education of physicians and dietitians about CD and its treatment is essential.