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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Reproductive life disorders in Italian celiac women. A case-control study

Domenico Martinelli1, Francesca Fortunato1, Silvio Tafuri2, Cinzia A Germinario2 and Rosa Prato1*

Author affiliations

1 Section of Hygiene, Department of Medical and Occupational Science, University of Foggia, Viale Pinto, 71000 Foggia, Italy

2 Section of Hygiene, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Bari, Piazza Giulio Cesare, 11, 70124 Bari, Italy

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Citation and License

BMC Gastroenterology 2010, 10:89  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-10-89

Published: 6 August 2010

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study is to explore the association between celiac disease and menstrual cycle, gestation and puerperal disorders.

Methods

The association between celiac disease and menstrual cycle, gestation and puerperal disorders in a sample of 62 childbearing age women (15-49 age) was assessed within an age and town of residence matched case-control study conducted in 2008. Main outcome measures were the presence of one or more disorders in menstrual cycle and the presence of one or more complication during pregnancy.

Results

62 celiac women (median age: 31.5, range: 17-49) and 186 healthy control (median age: 32.5, range: 15-49) were interviewed. A higher percentage of menstrual cycle disorders has been observed in celiac women. 19.4% frequency of amenorrhea was reported among celiac women versus 2.2% among healthy controls (OR = 33, 95% CI = 7.17-151.8;, p = 0.000). An association has been observed between celiac disease and oligomenorrhea, hypomenorrhea, dysmenorrhea and metrorrhagia (p < 0.05). The likelihood of having at least one complication during pregnancy has been estimated to be at least four times higher in celiac women than in healthy women (OR = 4.1, 95% CI = 2-8.6, p = 0.000). A significant correlation has emerged for celiac disease and threatened abortion, gestational hypertension, placenta abruption, severe anaemia, uterine hyperkinesia, intrauterine growth restriction (p < 0.001). A shorter gestation has on average been observed in celiac women together with a lower birth weight of celiac women babies (p < 0.001).

Conclusions

The occurrence of a significant correlation between celiac disease and reproductive disorders could suggest to consider celiac disease diagnostic procedures (serological screening) in women affected by these disorders.