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Risk Factors for Celiac Disease

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. It is possible to develop celiac disease with or without the risk factors listed below. However the more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of celiac disease. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

Celiac disease is more common in women. It is also more common among people of northern European descent. Other factors that may increase the chance of celiac disease include:

  • Family history —Celiac disease is more common in those who have a family history. This is especially true if the relative is a parent or sibling.
  • Genetics —Specific genes are associated with autoimmune diseases. Having them increases the risk of celiac disease.
  • Medical conditions that increase risk of celiac disease include:

Celiac disease. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated January 10, 2018. Accessed February 9, 2018.

Celiac disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated May 2016. Accessed February 9, 2018.

Definition & facts for celiac disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: Updated June 2016. Accessed February 9, 2018.

What is celiac disease? Celiac Disease Foundation website. Available at: Accessed February 9, 2018.

Last reviewed December 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daus Mahnke, MD