Coeliac disease and autoimmune Addison's disease: A clinical pitfall

C. O'Leary, C. H. Walsh, P. Wieneke, P. O'Regan, B. Buckley, D. J. O'Halloran, J. B. Ferriss, E. M.M. Quigley, P. Annis, F. Shanahan, C. C. Cronin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Background: Coeliac disease has an increased prevalence in a number of autoimmune endocrine conditions. An association between coeliac disease and Addison's disease has been proposed in isolated case reports, but has not been formally studied. Aim: To investigate the extent of this association. Design: Prospective screening of patients with confirmed Addison's disease. Methods: From central computerized records, we identified all living patients with a diagnosis of autoimmune Addison's disease in the past 30 years and presently attending our affiliated hospitals. After exclusions, 44 were invited to attend for screening. Results: Of 41 patients screened, five (12.2%) had coeliac disease: Three were previously diagnosed coeliacs and this was confirmed on review, including examination of biopsy material. A further two had positive IgA-endomysial antibodies. Histological confirmation was obtained in both cases. Neither had laboratory or clinical evidence of malabsorption. Discussion: In this series of patients with Addison's disease, a higher co-morbidity with coeliac disease was observed than in any previously studied endocrine condition. We recommend that coeliac serology (anti-endomysial and tissue transglutaminase antibody) testing be incorporated routinely into the autoimmune screen for other conditions in patients with Addison's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-82
Number of pages4
JournalQJM - Monthly Journal of the Association of Physicians
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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