Patients with celiac disease may have normal weight or may even be overweight

Isha Singh, Abhishek Agnihotri, Aishwairya Sharma, Anil K. Verma, Prasenjit Das, Bhaskar Thakur, V. Sreenivas, Siddhartha Datta Gupta, Vineet Ahuja, Govind K. Makharia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: It is believed that patients with celiac disease (CeD) are likely to be underweight. Data from west suggest that 8 % to 40 % of them can be overweight or obese. We reviewed data on body mass index (BMI) of our patients with CeD and derived the correlations between BMI and other disease characteristics. Methods: We retrospectively studied case records of 210 adolescent and adult patients with CeD at the Celiac Disease Clinic. We classified BMI as underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese based on the Consensus Statement for Diagnosis of Obesity, Abdominal Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome for Asian Indians for those with age >18 years and revised Indian Association of Pediatrics BMI-for-age charts for those between 12 and 18 years. Results: Of 210 patients, 76 (36.2 %) were underweight, 115 (54.8 %) were normal weight, 13 (6.2 %) were overweight, and 6 (2.9 %) were obese. There was no difference in the proportion of underweight between male and female patients with CeD. The mean age of underweight patients was similar to those having normal or overweight. There was no difference in the mean duration of symptoms; frequencies of diarrhea, anorexia, and weakness; anemia; titer of anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody; and severity of villous atrophy in those with underweight or normal weight or overweight. Conclusions: In our practice, only one third of patients with CeD had low BMI. A diagnosis of CeD should not be excluded if patient has normal or high BMI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-24
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Body mass index
  • Clinical phenotype
  • Gluten-related disorder
  • Malabsorption
  • Small intestine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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