Celiac Disease Facts and Figures

Celiac Disease Facts and FiguresUniversity of Chicago Celiac Disease Center773.702.7593 or http://www.celiacdisease.net

Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive process of the small intestine.  When a person who has Celiac Disease consumes gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, the individual’s immune system responds by attacking the small intestine and inhibiting the absorption of important nutrients into the body.  Undiagnosed and untreated, Celiac Disease can lead to the development of other autoimmune disorders, as well as osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions and in rare cases, cancer.

Prevalence of Celiac Disease in the United States
• In average healthy people: 1 in 133
• In people with related symptoms: 1 in 56
• In people with first-degree relatives (parent, child, sibling) 1 in 22
• In people with second-degree relatives (aunt, uncle, cousin) 1 in 39
• Estimated prevalence for African-, Hispanic- and Asian-Americans: 1 in 236
• Celiac Disease affects at least 3 million Americans.
• Type 1 Diabetes affects 3 million people;
            6% (180,000) also have Celiac Disease.
• 610,000 women experience unexplained infertility;
            6% (36,600) also have Celiac Disease.
• 350,000 people are living with Down syndrome;
            12 % (42,000) also have Celiac Disease.

Celiac Disease affects 1% of healthy, average Americans.  That means at least 3 million people in our country are living with Celiac Disease—97%of them are undiagnosed.

Putting Celiac Disease in Perspective:
• The number of people with Celiac Disease in the U.S. would fill 4,400 Boeing 747 airplanes.
• It would take 936 cruise ships to hold every American with Celiac Disease.
• Fans with Celiac Disease could fill Soldier Field, the home of the Chicago Bears, 37 times.
• The number of people with Celiac Disease in the U.S. is roughly equal to the number of people living in the state of Nevada.
• Alaska, Delaware, Washington DC, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah and Vermont all have populations that are less than 2,200,000 - the number of people living with Celiac Disease in the United States.

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