The Particulars: Data have linked inflammatory states such as lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease with coronary artery disease (CAD). Patients with celiac disease have been shown to have persistent, low-grade inflammation in the gut that can spill immune mediators into the bloodstream. Celiac disease has also been linked to arrhythmias and possible heart failure in previous studies. Few studies have assessed whether celiac disease is associated with CAD.

Data Breakdown: For a study, investigators examined the electronic health records of more than 22 million patients, nearly 25,000 of whom had been diagnosed with celiac disease. The team found the following:

 

Age

CAD Prevalence

Patients with celiac disease Patients without celiac disease
≥18 years 9.5% 5.6%
>65 years 28.6% 13.2%
18 to 65 years 4.5% 2.4%

 

Patients with celiac disease also had a 1.4-fold greater risk of stroke, when compared with those without the disease.

Take Home Pearls: Patients with celiac disease appear to be nearly twice as likely as the general population to have coronary artery disease. Patients with celiac disease also appear to be a greater risk of stroke when compared with those without the disease.