Celiac disease is a multi-system disorder with manifestations that may result in psychiatric disorders. Does that mean that celiac disease patients are more likely to take psychotropic drugs than other gastrointestinal patients? A team of researchers recently set out to assess the prevalence of medication use to treat psychiatric disorders in celiac disease patients compared to other gastrointestinal patients.
- 1 Jefferson Adams, Celiac.com
The research team included Haley M. Zylberberg, Jonas F. Ludvigsson, Peter H. R. Green, and Benjamin Lebwohl. They are variously affiliated with the Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Department of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, USA; the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; the Department of Pediatrics, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden; the Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, USA; and with the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York, NY, USA.
For their cross-sectional study, the team compiled data on patients undergoing esophago-gastroduodenoscopy over 9-years at a celiac disease referral center. They then compared rates of psychotropic medication use among 1,293 celiac disease patients to a control group of 1,401 patients with abdominal pain or reflux. Average patient age was 48.4 years, nearly 70% were female, and 22.7% used some sort of psychotropic medication.
- Overall, the team found no difference between rates of psychotropic medication use among celiac disease patients compared to control subjects. However, they did find that people with celiac disease were more likely to use antidepressants.
This was confirmed using both univariate and multivariate analysis. Psychotropic medication use was not connected with either the duration or mode of presentation of celiac disease.
So, even though the data show that celiac disease patients may use more antidepressants, they use psychotropic medications at similar rates as those with other gastrointestinal diseases.
- From these data, the study team suggests that researchers should try to assess whether people with celiac disease suffer from mood disorders that are not treated with medications.