Celiac disease (CD) is an important cause of hypertransaminasemia. CD might also be associated with severe forms of liver disease. We investigated the risk of liver disease in 13,818 patients with CD (1964-2003) and 66,584 age- and sex-matched reference individuals from a general population cohort.
We used Cox regression to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for later liver disease and conditional logistic regression to estimate the risk of CD in individuals with liver disease before study entry.
CD was associated with an increased risk of acute hepatitis (HR, 5.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.88-14.40; P = .001), chronic hepatitis (HR, 5.84; 95% CI, 2.89-11.79; P < .001), primary sclerosing cholangitis (HR, 4.46; 95% CI, 2.50-7.98; P < .001), fatty liver (HR, 6.06; 95% CI, 1.35-27.16; P = .018), liver failure (HR, 3.30; 95% CI, 2.22-4.88; P < .001), liver cirrhosis or liver fibrosis (HR, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.34-3.72; P < .001), and primary biliary cirrhosis (HR, 10.16; 95% CI, 2.61-39.49; P < .001). There was no increased risk of liver transplantation (HR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.12-9.62; P = .954). Adjustment for socioeconomic index or diabetes mellitus had no notable effect on the risk estimates. Prior liver disease was associated with a statistically significant 4-fold to 6-fold increased risk of later CD.
This study suggests that individuals with CD are at increased risk of both prior and subsequent liver disease.