What is celiac disease?

The number of children diagnosed with celiac disease, where there is a serious auto-immune reaction to dietary gluten from wheat, barley and rye, has trebled in the UK over the past twenty years.


It’s reckoned that around one per cent of all children in the UK have the disease, say researchers from the Health Improvement Network.

The greatest increase has been seen among girls under the age of eighteen, where rates have doubled between 1993 and 2012. There has been a thirty nine per cent increase in diagnoses among boys.

Differences between socio-economic groups

There was also a stark difference between socio-economic groups. Those from a deprived background were only half as likely to be diagnosed. The researchers can’t explain the disparity, but believe it could be because those from wealthier families are more likely to have the disease diagnosed.

Source: Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2015