Celiac disease affects 3 million Americans and is one of the most common occurring lifelong genetically determined diseases.
Like other autoimmune diseases, celiac occurs in more women than men. In fact, women in the general population are diagnosed with celiac disease two to three times more often than men. Further, current research indicates that 60% to 70% of those diagnosed with celiac disease are women.
Combined with the fact that the average age of diagnosis is 45 years old and the time to receive a diagnosis takes up to ten years, it is very likely that "the entire span of reproductive life may be disrupted in women with undiagnosed celiac disease" (Shah & Leffler, 2010).
Additionally, bone loss is a common symptom of undiagnosed celiac disease and osteoporosis becomes a regular concern for women as they approach menopause and have an increased risk of fracture.
Not only is celiac disease more common in women, but also many of the potential manifestations and complications are central in a woman’s health.
Shah, S. & Leffler, D. (2010) Celiac disease: An underappreciated issue in women's health. Journal of Women's Health, 6 (5), 1-14.