Non-malignant complications of coeliac disease

Authors


GKT Holmes, Department of Medicine, Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, London Road, Derby DE1 2QY, UK

Abstract

Patients with coeliac disease are at increased risk of developing complications which increase morbidity and mortality. Emphasis on malignant complications has often overshadowed the non-malignant risks, which have received relatively little attention, although some of these can be very troublesome and even life-threatening. This article points out that a large population of unidentified or neglected coeliac patients is at potential risk. The challenge is to identify this group by case-finding or screening programmes in selected populations, so that they can be offered a gluten-free diet and other treatments which will not only improve general health but may also prevent or reduce the development of health problems. The non-malignant risks are outlined and bone and neuropsychiatric disturbances considered in more detail because of recent developments in these areas.

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