Risk of vascular diseases in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis and coeliac disease: a long-term cohort study

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INTRODUCTION: Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is a cutaneous manifestation of coeliac disease. Increased cardiovascular morbidity has been reported in coeliac disease, but in DH only little is known about this. In this cohort study with a long-term follow-up, the risk for vascular diseases in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) and coeliac disease was assessed.

METHODS: The study consisted of 368 DH and 1072 coeliac disease patients with biopsy-proven diagnosis performed between 1966 and 2000. For each DH and coeliac disease patient three matched reference individuals were obtained from the population register. Data regarding all outpatient and inpatient treatment periods between 1970 and 2015 were reviewed for diagnostic codes of vascular diseases from the Care Register for Health Care. Cox proportional hazard model was used to assess the risks for the diseases studied and the HRs were adjusted for diabetes mellitus (aHR).

RESULTS: The median follow-up time of DH and coeliac disease patients was 46 years. The risk for cardiovascular diseases did not differ between DH patients and their references (aHR 1.16, 95% CI 0.91-1.47), but among coeliac disease patients, the risk was increased (aHR 1.36, 95% CI 1.16-1.59). The risk for cerebrovascular diseases was found to be decreased in DH patients when compared with references (aHR 0.68, 95% CI 0.47-0.99) and increased in coeliac disease patients (aHR 1.33, 95% CI 1.07-1.66). The risk for venous thrombosis was increased in coeliac disease patients (aHR 1.62, 95% CI 1.22-2.16) but not in DH.

CONCLUSIONS: The risk for vascular complications appears to differ between DH and coeliac disease. In DH the risk for cerebrovascular diseases seems to be decreased, while in coeliac disease an elevated risk for cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases was observed. These differing vascular risk profiles between the two manifestations of the same disease merit further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2227423
Number of pages10
JournalAnnal of Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Humans
  • Celiac Disease/complications
  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis/complications
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cardiovascular Diseases/etiology
  • Vascular Diseases/complications

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2


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