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Is celiac disease hereditary?

Celiac disease can be hereditary. Genetic testing for celiac disease, like having a family history of celiac disease, can be used to determine who is at risk for developing the disease. However, most people who have the associated genes do not ever develop the disease.

An estimated one-third of the population has at least one of the genes associated with celiac disease, yet most never develop the disease. There is therefore a good chance that you won’t develop it if you have the genes.

However, you should still get your blood screened every two to three years or immediately if symptoms appear. If you also have first- or second-degree family members with celiac disease, it is even more imperative you keep getting screened as time passes.
Nancee Jaffe, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Celiac disease is hereditary, which means it happens in people who have the genes for it. If you want to find out if you do or don't have celiac disease, you can have a genetic test done. About 38% of the U.S. population has the genes for celiac disease, but only 1% will actually ever get celiac disease. The genetics test is more of a rule-out test than a rule-in test. If you don't have the genes for celiac disease, the likelihood of ever getting celiac disease is incredibly small.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.