What is the occurrence of clinically diagnosed coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis in the UK today? A population based cohort study utilising electronically linked health records.

Date of Approval
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Technical Summary

There is a consistent 1% serological prevalence of Coeliac disease across the UK that was not changing over time. However, our previous study up until 2011 found a rising incidence of the disease and a wide regional variation. We do not know whether the rise in incidence of clinical diagnosis has continued or whether the regional variation has improved.

Moving to areas of improvement, our previously conducted case control study of prior diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in coeliac cases compared to controls, found an almost four fold excess of IBS diagnoses prior to a coeliac diagnosis compared to controls, suggesting a delay to the diagnosis of coeliac disease. Equally we do not know if diagnostic delay is an ongoing issue and how actively clinicians seek to avoid misdiagnosis.

Using the most up to date data available, this study will update our previous work on trends and variations in the occurrence of coeliac disease and DH and re-assess whether misdiagnosis of Coeliac disease in the UK is continuing. We will first estimate the prevalence and incidence of coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis in the UK from 2011 to 2015 inclusive. Secondly, we will determine the number of people with coeliac disease previously diagnosed with either irritable bowel syndrome (adults) or functional abdominal pain (children).

Health Outcomes to be Measured

Prevalence of incidence of coeliac disease Prevalence and incidence of dermatitis herpetiformis Number of people with coeliac disease that are previously misdiagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome or functional abdominal pain


Colin Crooks - Chief Investigator - University of Nottingham
Harmony Otete - Collaborator - University Of Central Lancashire
Joe West - Collaborator - University of Nottingham


Patient Level Index of Multiple Deprivation;Practice Level Index of Multiple Deprivation