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Dig Dis Sci. 2017 Sep;62(9):2440-2448. doi: 10.1007/s10620-017-4583-1. Epub 2017 Apr 27.

Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, and Cardiovascular Risk in Gluten-Free Followers Without Celiac Disease in the United States: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2014.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA. hk612@njms.rutgers.edu.
2
Department of Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA.
3
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite unclear benefits of gluten-free diets (GFD) in the general population, gluten-free followers without medical indications are driving the market. Few studies have investigated health benefits of GFD in the general population.

AIMS:

To estimate metabolic and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk profiles among gluten-free followers without celiac disease (CD).

METHODS:

Data were obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2009-2014. There were 13,523 persons without CD who had GFD information. People with known CVD were excluded. We compared gluten-free followers without CD and the general population by selective metabolic and CVD risk profiles using survey-weighted generalized logistic regression.

RESULTS:

There were 155 gluten-free followers without CD and CVD, corresponding to a weighted prevalence of 1.3% (3.2 million Americans). Gluten-free followers tended to be women and have a smaller waist circumference and higher HDL cholesterol. They also had a lower BMI with a borderline p value (0.053) and significant self-reported weight loss (-1.33 kg) over one year. Moreover, gluten-free followers were more likely to consider their weight appropriate. There was no statistical difference by age, smoking, hypertension, total cholesterol, triglyceride cholesterol, HbA1c, or fasting glucose. Despite a lower probability of having metabolic syndrome (33.0 vs 38.5%) and lower 10-year CVD risk score (4.52 vs 5.70%) in gluten-free followers, there was no statistical difference.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although being on a GFD may be beneficial in weight management, there was no significant difference in terms of prevalence of metabolic syndrome and CVD risk score in gluten-free followers without CD.

KEYWORDS:

Cardiovascular risk; Gluten-free diet; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity

PMID:
28451915
DOI:
10.1007/s10620-017-4583-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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