Two waves of coeliac disease incidence in Sweden: A nationwide population-based cohort study from 1990 to 2015

David Bergman, James King, Benjamin Lebwohl, Mark S. Clements, Bjorn Roelstraete, Gilaad G. Kaplan, Peter H.R. Green, Joseph A. Murray, Jonas F. Ludvigsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives To assess the incidence of biopsy-verified coeliac disease (CD) in Sweden and examine the incidence of duodenal/jejunal biopsies with normal mucosa over time as a proxy for CD awareness and investigation. Design Nationwide population-based cohort study 1990-2015 based on biopsy reports indicating villous atrophy (VA) or normal mucosa in the duodenum/jejunum. Results We identified 44 771 individuals (63% females) with a biopsy report specifying VA and 412 279 (62% females) with a biopsy report indicating normal mucosa (without a prior biopsy indicating VA). The median age at diagnosis of CD was 28 years. The mean age-standardised incidence rate during the study period was 19.0 per 100 000 person-years (95% CI 17.3 to 20.8). The incidence reached a peak in 1994 for both sexes and a second higher peak in 2002-2003 for females and in 2006 for males. The lifetime risk of developing CD was 1.8% (2.3% in females and 1.4% in males). Prior to 2015, there was a parallel rise in rates for biopsies showing normal duodenal/jejunal mucosa. Conclusions In Sweden, the incidence of CD increased until 2002-2003 in females and until 2006 in males. Since then, the incidence of CD has declined despite increasing duodenal/jejunal biopsies, suggesting that increased awareness and investigation are unlikely to elevate the incidence of the disease in Sweden. Across a lifetime, 1 in 44 females and 1 in 72 males are expected to be diagnosed with CD in Sweden, indicating a relatively high societal burden of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1088-1094
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • Coeliac disease
  • Epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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