Seroprevalence of celiac disease among United Arab Emirates healthy adult nationals: A gender disparity

Yousif A. Abu-Zeid, Waheeba S. Jasem, Benjamin Lebwohl, Peter H. Green, Gehad ElGhazali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: To determine celiac disease (CD) prevalence and associated manifestations or risk factors in healthy adult Emiratis.

METHODS: It is a cross-sectional prospective study, recruiting 1197 (573 women and 624 men) healthy Emiratis between September 2007 and April 2008 among those who went to Al Ain Hospital to undertake the prenuptial examination. Test for anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) IgA antibodies was used for CD diagnosis. Subjects with positive results in the anti tTG antibodies assay were also tested for anti-endomysial (EMA) IgA antibodies. A structured interview was used to collect basic demographic and clinical recall data including: information on name, contact address, age, gender, education status, previous diagnosis of CD, diagnosis of CD in 1st degree relatives and history of "chronic diarrhea, anemia, headache, hepatitis, diabetes, tumor, and thyroid disorder".

RESULTS: Fourteen blood samples (1.17%; 14/1197) were seropositive for CD. The latent CD seropositive patients were 13 women and 1 man and therefore the seroprevalence of CD was 1:86 (14/1197) for adult Emiratis: 1:44 (13/573) for women and 1:624 for men. Binary logistic regression revealed that history of chronic anemia (crude OR = 7.09; 95%CI: 2.32-21.61; P = 0.003) and being a woman (OR = 14.46; 95%CI: 1.89-110.91; P = 0.001) were associated with CD seropositivity. Whereas, the thyroid disorder showed a positive association with CD seropositivity that approach statistical significance (OR = 11.30; 95%CI: 1.32-96.95; P = 0.09) and therefore was included in the multiple logistic regression analysis, which showed that CD seropositivity is independently associated only with history of chronic anemia (OR = 4.58; 95%CI: 1.45-14.48; P = 0.01) and being a woman person (OR = 10.47; 95%CI: 1.33-82.14; P = 0.026).

CONCLUSION: Compared to men the CD seroprevalence among women was remarkably higher. The CD association with women and chronic anemia is of importance from a public health perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15830-15836
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - Nov 14 2014


  • Celiac disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Gender
  • Prevalence
  • Serology
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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