Elevated Total Iron-Binding Capacity Is Associated with an Increased Risk of Celiac Disease

Dorothea Letner, Joanna Peloquin, Jacquelyn Durand, Anna Rutherford, Vijay Yajnik, Hamed Khalili, John Garber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Several lines of evidence suggest that abnormal iron homeostasis may itself play an important role in the development of celiac disease. Aim: We sought to determine whether abnormalities in iron status could be detected prior to the diagnosis of celiac disease, and to understand the relationship between altered iron indices and the natural history of celiac disease. Methods: We conducted a case–control study at two major tertiary referral hospitals. Cases were comprised of patients with celiac disease in whom iron status was assessed prior to the diagnosis. Each case was matched to five controls without known gastrointestinal disease according to age and sex. Information on potential covariates and laboratory values within 1, 1–3, and 3–5 years prior to diagnosis was collected. We used conditional logistic regression to evaluate the effect of iron indices on risk of celiac disease. Results: We identified 157 celiac cases and 695 matched controls. Compared to participants with normal TIBC, the age-adjusted risk of celiac disease was significantly elevated among patients with elevated TIBC. For each 10 μg/dL increase in TIBC, the risk of celiac disease increased by 4.6, 3.8, and 7.9 % within 1, 1–3, and 3–5 years prior to diagnosis, respectively. Patients with elevated pre-diagnosis TIBC were more likely to have abnormal liver enzymes and osteoporosis. Conclusions: Elevated TIBC is associated with an increased risk of celiac disease. Further investigation into the potential role of altered iron homeostasis may uncover important environmental factors that contribute to the development of celiac disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3735-3742
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarkers
  • Celiac disease
  • Iron homeostasis
  • TIBC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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