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J Am Heart Assoc. 2012 Jun;1(3):e001594. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.112.001594. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

Risk of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy in 29 000 patients with celiac disease.

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  • 1Vårdcentralen Värmlands Nysäter, Värmland County, and the Department of Medicine, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden (L.E.).



Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a rare disease of largely unknown origin. Previous studies have suggested an increased prevalence of celiac disease (CD) in patients with DCM. These studies, however, were based on a maximum of 5 patients with both CD and DCM. In the present large Swedish population-based cohort study, we examined the risk of idiopathic DCM in patients with CD determined by small-intestinal histopathology.


From 2006 to 2008, we collected duodenal/jejunal biopsy data on CD (equal to villous atrophy, Marsh stage 3, n=29 071 unique individuals) from (all) 28 pathology departments in Sweden. These individuals were compared with 144 429 reference individuals matched for age, sex, calendar year, and county. Data on DCM were obtained through the National Patient Register and confirmed by patient charts and echocardiography data. During follow-up, 17 patients with CD and 52 reference individuals developed idiopathic DCM. Thus, patients with CD were at an increased risk of idiopathic DCM (hazard ratio, 1.73; 95% confidence interval, 1.00 to 3.00), although the risk estimate failed to attain statistical significance (P=0.052).


This nationwide study found a moderately but not statistically significantly increased risk of idiopathic DCM in patients with biopsy-verified CD. (J Am Heart Assoc. 2012;1:e001594 doi: 10.1161/JAHA.112.001594.).


autoimmunity; celiac disease; cohort studies; dilatation; heart; inflammation

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