• Coeliac disease;
  • prevalence

Coeliac disease is often under-diagnosed, particularly in cases which are atypical or asymptomatic. Objective: The aim of this study was to comprehensively assess the prevalence and clinical profile of adult coeliac disease in our community. Methods: One-hundred-and-thirteen subjects from the most recent MONICA (Multinational MONItoring of trends and determinants in CArdiovascular disease) 1991/2 survey with positive serology were followed up 3 years after initial screening and assessed by means of (i) a clinical questionnaire, (ii) screening blood tests, and (iii) jejunal biopsy. Results: Forty-six subjects (21 male, mean age 51 years) have been followed up to date. Prior to follow-up, two of these subjects were diagnosed as having coeliac disease. Ten (3 male, mean age 51 years) of 44 subjects had enteropathy. Three of these 10 subjects were relatively asymptomatic, 3 had folate deficiency and 3 had iron deficiency. Thus 12 of the 1823 initially screened had enteropathy consistent with coeliac disease. Conclusions: Coeliac disease is more prevalent than previous estimations and was found to be at least 1 in 152.