Celiac Disease Cause and Risk Factors

The cause for celiac disease currently is unknown. People of European descent and those with other autoimmune disorders (e.g., type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease) are at increased risk for developing celiac disease.

Celiac disease is genetic (hereditary). Immediate family members (e.g., parent, sibling) of a patient with celiac disease are 5–15% more likely to develop the disorder. Because celiac disease can cause complications, even in patients who do not experience symptoms, family members of patients diagnosed with the disorder should speak with a qualified health care provider. This is especially important for women who are or who may become pregnant.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 28 Feb 2008

Last Modified: 17 Aug 2015