Coeliac disease may predict schizophrenia

February 19, 2004

A history of coeliac disease (gluten intolerance) is a risk factor for developing schizophrenia, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Previous studies have suggested an association between these two disorders.

Researchers identified 7,997 people older than 15 who were admitted to any Danish psychiatric unit for the first time between 1981 and 1998 with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

For each case, they randomly selected 25 controls, matched by year of birth and sex, and identified any history of coeliac disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease in cases, controls, and their parents.

They found a moderately strong risk relation between coeliac disease and schizophrenia. However, the authors stress that this reflects a small proportion of cases, since both disorders are rare.
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BMJ

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