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Declining Trend in the Incidence of Biopsy-Verified Coeliac Disease in the Adult Population of Finland, 2005-2014

Julkaistu 21.9.2017



The frequency of coeliac disease (CD) has been on the rise over the past decades, especially in Western Europe, but current trends are unclear.


To research the recent temporal changes in the incidence of adult, biopsy-verified coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) in Finland, a country with a high frequency of coeliac disease.


All coeliac disease and DH cases diagnosed at age 20-79 years during 2005-2014 were retrieved from a nationwide database documenting all applicants for monthly compensation to cover the extra cost of maintaining a gluten-free diet. This benefit is granted on the basis of histology, not socioeconomic status. Temporal trends in the annual incidences were estimated using Poisson regression analyses.


The total incidence of coeliac disease decreased from 33/100 000 during the years 2005-2006 to 29/100 000 during 2013-2014. The mean annual incidence of coeliac disease was nearly twice as high among women as among men, 42 vs 22 per 100 000, respectively. For middle- and old-aged women, the average rate of decrease in incidence was 4.8% (95% CI 3.9-5.7) per year and for men 3.0% (1.8-4.1) (P for linear trend <.001, for both). Similarly, the annual incidence of DH declined. For young adults, the rate of change remained low and nonsignificant throughout the period 2005-2014.


Although the awareness of coeliac disease has increased during the past decades, the incidence of biopsy-verified diagnoses is not increasing, which suggests that exposure to yet unidentified triggering factors for coeliac disease has plateaued among the Finnish adult population.

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Lauri Virta, Maiju M Saarinen, Kaija-Leena Kolho

Lisätietoja julkaisusta

  • Vertaisarvioitu: kyllä.
  • Avoin saatavuus: ei.
  • Koko viite: Virta, L. J., Saarinen, M. M., & Kolho, K. L. (2017). Declining trend in the incidence of biopsy-verified coeliac disease in the adult population of Finland, 2005-2014. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 46(11-12), 1085–1093. 

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