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Psych Symptoms Affect Key Subset With Celiac Disease

Last Updated: January 03, 2012.

A substantial subset of women with celiac disease report clinically relevant symptoms of depression and disordered eating, despite high adherence to a gluten-free diet, according to a study published online in Chronic Illness.

TUESDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial subset of women with celiac disease report clinically relevant symptoms of depression and disordered eating, despite high adherence to a gluten-free diet, according to a study published online in Chronic Illness.

Danielle Arigo, from Syracuse University in New York, and colleagues investigated the psychiatric risk and comorbidities of 177 women with celiac disease. Participants were assessed through an extensive Web-mediated survey on dietary compliance, illness symptoms, psychiatric functioning, and disordered eating.

The investigators found that, in spite of high dietary compliance, marked symptoms of illness and impaired quality of life were reported. A considerable minority experienced symptoms that met the criteria for diagnosis of psychiatric disorders, including 22 percent with disordered eating and 37 percent who met the clinical threshold suggesting depression. Compared with women below these clinical thresholds, those whose symptoms exceeded the clinical cut-offs reported greater perceived stress and reduced overall mental health.

"Despite largely adhering to a gluten-free diet, a substantial subset of women with celiac disease report clinically relevant symptoms of depression and disordered eating; such symptoms are associated with increased psychosocial distress in other domains. These results suggest potential to improve the patient well-being through attention to psychosocial care, in addition to existing dietary recommendations for individuals with celiac disease," the authors write.

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