Neuropathy Found in Celiac Patients

New from JAMA Neurology


  1. Neuropathy patients deserve to know the cause of their neuropathy if it can be identified
  2. Celiac disease has been found to cause neuropathy and must be placed on the differential for these patients.



Earlier research on celiac disease (CD) and neuropathy has been hampered by the use of inpatient data, low study power, and lack of neuropathic characteristics.

celiac diseaseObjective

To examine the relative risk and absolute risk of developing neuropathy in a nationwide population-based sample of patients with biopsy-verified CD.

Design, Setting, and Participants

Between October 27, 2006, and February 12, 2008, we collected data on small-intestinal biopsies performed at Sweden’s 28 pathology departments between June 16, 1969, and February 4, 2008. We compared the risk of neuropathy in 28 232 patients with CD (villous atrophy, Marsh 3) with that of 139 473 age- and sex-matched controls. Cox proportional hazards regression estimated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for neuropathy defined according to relevant International Classification of Diseases codes in the Swedish National Patient Register (consisting of both inpatient and outpatient data).

Main Outcomes and Measures

Neuropathy in patients with biopsy-verified CD.


Celiac disease was associated with a 2.5-fold increased risk of later neuropathy (95% CI, 2.1-3.0;P < .001). We also found an increased risk (with results reported as HRs [95% CIs]) of chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy (2.8; 1.6-5.1; P = .001), autonomic neuropathy (4.2; 1.4-12.3; P = .009), and mononeuritis multiplex (7.6; 1.8-32.4; P = .006), but no association between CD and acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (0.8; 0.3-2.1; P = .68).

Conclusions and Relevance

We found an increased risk of neuropathy in patients with CD. This statistically significant association in a population-based sample suggests that CD screening should be completed in patients with neuropathy.

Risk of Neuropathy Among 28 232 Patients With Biopsy-Verified Celiac Disease



Thawani,  Brannagan, Lebwohl,  Green, Ludvigsson;  Risk of Neuropathy Among 28 232 Patients With Biopsy-Verified Celiac DiseaseJAMA Neurol. Published online May 11, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.0475



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About Richard Cole

Richard L. Cole, DC, DACNB, DAAPM, FICCN, FICC is a doctor of chiropractic, with advanced training in chiropractic neurology and pain management. Also, he is a fellow of the International College of Chiropractic Neurology and a fellow of the International College of Chiropractors.