The risk of renal comorbidities in celiac disease patients depends on the phenotype of celiac disease

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Background: An increased risk of kidney disease in patients with celiac disease has been reported, but the association has remained obscure. Only few studies have investigated the association between renal comorbidities and dermatitis herpetiformis, a cutaneous manifestation of celiac disease. Objectives: We investigated whether patients with different phenotypes of celiac disease are at higher risk of kidney diseases than age- and sex-matched references. Methods: The diagnoses of glomerulonephritis, diabetic nephropathy, interstitial nephritis, and end-stage renal disease obtained from the National Hospital Discharge Register between 1970 and 2015 were identified in celiac disease (Marsh III, n = 1072) and dermatitis herpetiformis (n = 368) patients diagnosed at Tampere University Hospital catchment region and in 4296 reference subjects. Using the Cox proportional hazards model, we compared the risk of kidney diseases between patients and references. The study protocol was approved by the Regional Ethics Committee of Tampere University Hospital (R16090). As the study was register based, no consent from patients was required. Results: Even after adjusting for type 1 diabetes, celiac disease was associated with an elevated risk of kidney disease (hazard ratio [HR] 1.85, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.12–3.03), glomerulonephritis (HR 3.37, 95% CI 1.64–6.95), and IgA nephropathy (IgAN) (HR 18.98, 95% CI 2.29–157.63). No similarly elevated risk was found among dermatitis herpetiformis patients (HR 1.50, 95% CI 0.63–3.55; HR 2.21, 95% CI 0.77–6.38; and HR 5.87, 95% CI 0.53–64.79, respectively). Conclusion: Celiac disease patients were at increased risk of kidney diseases, notably IgAN. The risk was dependent on the celiac disease phenotype and was not seen in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis. Awareness of possible renal manifestations is recommended when treating celiac disease patients.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • celiac disease
  • dermatitis herpetiformis
  • end-stage renal disease
  • glomerulonephritis
  • IgA nephropathy
  • kidney disease

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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