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Medical News & Perspectives
August 25, 2004

Higher Profile Needed for Celiac Disease

JAMA. 2004;292(8):913-914. doi:10.1001/jama.292.8.913

Celiac disease can remain undiagnosed for years, hiding in the shadows of symptoms that mimic other conditions. But now physicians and researchers are shining a spotlight on the disease that should lead to quicker diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

A consensus panel convened by the National Institutes of Health recently announced recommendations for appropriate diagnosis and management of celiac disease. The focus is timely because celiac disease, once believed to be a rare condition, is now considered underdiagnosed and is estimated to affect between 0.5% and 1% (up to 3 million individuals) of the US population. These new numbers are 10 times higher than previous estimates.