• Statistics

    • Celiac disease is a specific digestive disorder of the nutrient absorbing part of the gut called the small intestine. Celiac disease is a form of food allergy. In celiac disease, the immune system is reacting against gluten, a protein found in wheat, causing damage to villi and loss of surface area for absorbing nutrients.
    • More than 330,000 Canadians are believed to be affected by celiac disease with only approximately 110,000 diagnosed.
    • Each year, families affected by celiac disease spend $150 million to obtain gluten-free foodstuffs; the primary therapeutic option for the disease.
    • Gluten-free products are 2.5 times more expensive than regular items making the overall cost of the disease for individuals and their families enormous.
    • Access to gluten-free foods prevents families with celiac disease from traveling, dining out, and taking part in social activities thereby decreasing their quality of life while increasing the indirect costs associated with the disease.
    • From the first recognizable onset of symptoms, it takes an average time of 1 year to obtain a diagnosis of celiac disease. In some cases, the time to diagnosis may take as long as 12 years.
    • Due to under-recognition of celiac disease in pediatric patients, $2.5 million has been spent in the health care system as families consulted 2 or more physicians before receiving a diagnosis for their child.
    • Delayed diagnosis of celiac disease increases the individual's risk for the development of serious chronic medical issues which, in turn, will increase their use of the health care system and reduce their ability to contribute to society.
    • Rates of celiac disease have nearly doubled in the last 25 years in western countries.
    • The risk for developing celiac disease is increased 20 times for those who have a 1st degree relative with the disease.
    • Nearly 30% of Canadian children with celiac disease are initially misdiagnosed.
    • As 30% of celiac disease patients may develop a malignancy (e.g, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma), adhering to a gluten-free diet is critical for preventive purposes in spite of the personal costs.

Enhancing lifelong health

The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation believes our ability to help establish, enrich and protect a healthy gut microbiota is the key to lifelong health