Estimated prevalence of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) varies between 1% and 13% of the population, and as such may be higher than the prevalence of coeliac disease. Unreported cases are likely to be at a similarly high level to coeliac disease .
Research indicates that NCGS is probably more prevalent than coeliac disease. Until now, however, there has been a lack of extensive epidemiological studies to verify estimated prevalence of this condition. Clinic data from the Center for Celiac Research, University of Maryland, showed that 6% of the 9,000 patients treated there between 2004-2010 met the criteria for NCGS and complained of corresponding symptoms, without having coeliac disease or wheat allergy . In a recent UK study 13% of a general population sample reported symptoms attributed to gluten .
The large variability in prevalence is likely accounted for by the lack of accurate biomarkers.
An emerging number of people are self-reporting NCGS, without a medical diagnosis of a gluten related disorder. These people have been defined as people who avoid gluten rather than NCGS, which may complicate prevalence estimates .
- Aziz I, Hadjivassiliou M, Sanders DS. The spectrum of noncoeliac gluten sensitivity. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Epub ahead of print
- Sapone A, Bai JC, Ciacci C et al. Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification. BMC Med 2012; 10: 13.
- Aziz, I. et al. A UK study assessing the population prevalence of self-reported gluten sensitivity and referral characteristics to secondary care. Eur. J. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 26, 33–39 (2014).
- Catassi C, Alaedini A, Bojarski et al. The Overlapping Area of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) and Wheat-Sensitive Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): An Update. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1268