Coeliac disease diagnosis rate rises to 30% in the UK

Coeliac UK has announced that diagnosis of coeliac disease in the UK has risen from 24% to 30%.

Recent research, commissioned by the charity at the University of Nottingham, looked at UK patient records up to and including 2015 for clinical diagnoses of coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis (the skin manifestation of coeliac disease).

The research showed that although diagnosis rose by a quarter in four years (2011-2015), the rate of diagnosis was slowing significantly, and that around half a million people in the UK still living with undiagnosed coeliac disease.

It also highlighted that one in four adults diagnosed with coeliac disease had previously been misdiagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the same percentage that had been reported in research from 2013.

Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK, said: “It’s fantastic that the research shows that around 45,000 people were diagnosed between 2011 and 2015. But with half a million people in the UK still without a diagnosis, we’ve got a long way to go.

“The fact that testing for the condition is slowing and nothing has changed in people being diagnosed with IBS before being tested for coeliac disease, suggests the NHS is failing to address the mountain of underdiagnoses.”

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition caused by a reaction to gluten, and is thought to affect one in 100 people. It’s reported that, on average, it takes 13 years for a person to be diagnosed.

Bakery businesses now only have a few days left to apply for a £750,000 research fund from Coeliac UK and Innovate UK.  

Subscribers to British Baker can read our report on healthier gluten-free NPD here.

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