Skepticism Regarding Vaccine and Gluten-Free Food Safety Among Patients with Celiac Disease and Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity
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There has been a marked increase in the adoption of the gluten-free (GF) diet.
To query individuals with celiac disease (CD) and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) on their beliefs toward the health effects of gluten, and safety of vaccines and GF food products.
We distributed a Web-based survey to individuals with CD and NCGS on a CD center e-mail list. We used univariate and multivariate analysis to compare responses of respondents with CD and NCGS.
The overall response rate was 27% (NCGS n = 217, CD n = 1291). Subjects with NCGS were more likely than those with CD to disagree with the statement that “vaccines are safe for people with celiac disease” (NCGS 41.3% vs. CD 26.4% (p < 0.0001), and were more likely to decline vaccination when offered (30.9 vs. 24.2%, p = 0.007). After adjusting for age and gender, NCGS subjects were more likely than CD subjects to avoid genetically modified (GMO) foods (aOR 2.30; 95% CI 1.71–3.10), eat only organic products (aOR 2.87; 95% CI 2.04–4.03), believe that the FDA is an unreliable source of information (aOR 1.82, 95% CI 1.26–2.64), and believe a GF diet improves energy and concentration (aOR 2.52; 95% CI 1.86–3.43).
Subjects with NCGS were more likely than those with CD to have doubts about vaccine safety and believe in the value of non-GMO and organic foods. Our findings suggest that the lack of reliable information on gluten and its content in food and medications may reinforce beliefs that result in a detriment to public health.
KeywordsCeliac disease Non-celiac gluten sensitivity Gluten Vaccines
Food and drug administration
Genetically modified food
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest and nothing to declare.
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