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Genetic Risk Factor for Coeliac Disease Identified.

of food. If undetected it can lead to, amongst other things, anaemia, poor bone health, and weight loss. Although the majority of people are diagnosed in mid-life, symptoms can present themselves at anytime, for example during illness, stress, or post-trauma. There is a strong inherited (genetic) risk. .

Professor David van Heel, chief investigator in the study, said; We previously knew that coeliac individuals had a specific tissue type which recognised wheat proteins. We did not know why healthy individuals who had the same tissue type did not develop symptoms or disease. The first findings from our study suggest that interleukin genes that control inflammation are critical. We expect to find more disease risk factors from further in-depth analysis of the genome wide data.

Sarah Sleet, Chief Executive of Coeliac UK said: This research heralds an important breakthrough in understanding better who is likely to develop coeliac disease. Around 1 in 100 people develop the disease but predicting who is susceptible is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Currently genetic testing is a blunt instrument which can only narrow down the search to around one third of the general population.


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