Barriers Impeding Serologic Screening for Celiac Disease in High-prevalence Populations (Study)

Authors of Study:  Erika M Barbero, Shawna L McNally, Michael C Donohue and Martin F Kagnoff
See study abstract (link below) for affiliations. 


Many people with celiac disease (CD) remain undiagnosed, despite the availability of  blood tests. The study team set out to identify (in those with a “high-risk” of developing it) possible reasons why people just aren’t pursuing testing. The authors discovered there are “patient-centered barriers” which prevent/hinder them from getting tested, unfortunately further delaying a diagnosis. The authors also make recommendations for how this can change to ultimately get more people diagnosed!

“We report there are significant patient-centered barriers that impede serologic screening and contribute to the delayed detection and diagnosis of celiac disease. The diagnosis of celiac disease is delayed from 5.8 to 11 years on average after the onset of symptoms. This is the case despite readily available inexpensive serologic screening tests of high sensitivity, specificity and an increased positive predictive value when applied to populations having an increased prevalence of celiac disease.”

According to the study, barriers included:

– lack of knowledge regarding celiac disease symptoms, risk factors, and screening tests

– poor access to healthcare


Conclusions of the study:

“The under-detection and diagnosis of celiac disease may be partially explained by patient-centered barriers related to lack of knowledge regarding celiac disease symptoms, risk factors, and screening tests. Many individuals face barriers secondary to poor access to healthcare as well.

Future public awareness campaigns, improved access to healthcare, and the development of cheaper and more accurate modes of testing have the potential to increase the rate of diagnosis of this common chronic disease.”

To view study details on, open here.


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On June 12th, 2014, posted in: CeliacCorner Blogs by

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