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Keywords:

  • celiac disease;
  • anxiety;
  • depression;
  • physical illness;
  • risk factors;
  • meta-analysis

Smith DF, Gerdes LU. Meta-analysis on anxiety and depression in adult celiac disease.

Objective:  We used meta-analysis to test hypotheses concerning whether adult celiac disease is reliably linked with anxiety and/or depression.

Method:  We examined published reports on anxiety and depression in adult celiac disease.

Results:  Eighteen studies on depression and eleven studies on anxiety in adult celiac disease met selection criteria. They show that depression is reliably more common and/or more severe in adults with celiac disease than in healthy adults (overall meta-analysis effect size: 0.97). The fail-safe margin of unpublished reports that would be required to negate the finding exceeds 8000. Adults with celiac disease do not, however, differ reliably in terms of depression from adults with other physical illnesses, nor do they differ reliably from healthy adults or adults with other physical illnesses in terms of anxiety.

Conclusion:  Depression is common in adult celiac disease and resembles the condition in other physical illnesses. We view the findings as support for the notion that non-specific mechanisms mediate emotional disorders in adult celiac disease.