People often comment that it seems like there’s more celiac disease out there today than there was 10 or 20 or 50 years ago — that it isn’t just better awareness, but that it seems like there are actually more cases to be diagnosed. And, regardless of whether I agree, disagree, or demur, inevitably, their next comment is more of a question: why do you think that is?
To be perfectly frank, I have no idea. But thanks to a new study out of Sweden, we know at least one thing is not to blame: vaccines.
The Swedish study was prompted in large part by a celiac “epidemic” between 1984 and 1996; according to Reuters, there was a four-fold increase in the normal rate of celiac disease in younger children during this time. No one is sure why the epidemic started, or why it ended, but some people theorized that vaccines could play a role. After all, they do involve the immune system — just like celiac disease does.
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