Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 1087–1095 | Cite as

The Canadian Celiac Health Survey

  • Ann Cranney
  • Marion Zarkadas
  • Ian D. Graham
  • J. Decker Butzner
  • Mohsin RashidEmail author
  • Ralph Warren
  • Mavis Molloy
  • Shelley Case
  • Vernon Burrows
  • Connie Switzer
Original Paper


The purpose of this study was to characterize the diagnostic process, frequency of associated disorders, family history, and impact of a gluten-free diet in individuals with celiac disease. All members of the Canadian Celiac Association (n=5240) were surveyed with a questionnaire. Respondents included 2681 adults with biopsy-proven celiac disease. The mean age was 56 years. Most common presenting symptoms included abdominal pain (83%), diarrhea (76%), and weight loss (69%). The mean delay in diagnosis was 11.7 years. Diagnoses made prior to celiac disease included anemia (40%), stress (31%), and irritable bowel syndrome (29%). Osteoporosis was common. Prior to diagnosis, 27% of respondents consulted three or more doctors about their symptoms. Delays in diagnosis of celiac disease remain a problem. Associated medical conditions occur frequently. More accurate food labeling is needed. Improved awareness of celiac disease and greater use of serological screening tests may result in earlier diagnosis and reduced risk of associated conditions.


Celiac disease Gluten-free diet Survey 



The authors would like to thank the CCA Board of Directors and the Institute of Research and Education for their generous financial support, the members of the CCA for their participation in the survey, Drs. A. Fasano, P. Green, and K. Stobart for reviewing the questionnaire, Dialogos consultants J. Lawn and Dr. D. Harvey for assisting with questionnaire development, and M. Prince for assistance with data entry and analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Cranney
    • 1
  • Marion Zarkadas
    • 2
  • Ian D. Graham
    • 3
  • J. Decker Butzner
    • 2
    • 4
  • Mohsin Rashid
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  • Ralph Warren
    • 2
    • 6
  • Mavis Molloy
    • 2
    • 7
  • Shelley Case
    • 2
    • 8
  • Vernon Burrows
    • 2
    • 9
  • Connie Switzer
    • 2
    • 10
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Ottawa Health Research InstituteUniversity of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, and Queen's UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Member, Professional Advisory BoardCanadian Celiac AssociationEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.School of NursingUniversity of Ottawa, Ottawa Health Research InstituteOttawaCanada
  4. 4.Division of GastroenterologyDepartment of Pediatrics, University of CalgaryAlbertaCanada
  5. 5.Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Department of PediatricsDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  6. 6.Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, St. Michael's HospitalUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  7. 7.Clinical Dietitian, Kelowna General HospitalKelownaCanada
  8. 8.Consulting DietitianReginaCanada
  9. 9.Department of Agriculture and Agri-FoodOttawaCanada
  10. 10.Division of Gastroenterology, Department of MedicineUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonsCanada

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