Risk Factors for Celiac Disease

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. It is possible to develop celiac disease with or without the risk factors listed below. However the more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of celiac disease. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

Celiac disease is more common in women. It is also more common among people of northern European descent. Other factors that may increase the chance of celiac disease include:

  • Family history —Celiac disease is more common in those who have a family history. This is especially true if the relative is a parent or sibling.
  • Genetics —Specific genes are associated with autoimmune diseases. Having them increases the risk of celiac disease.
  • Medical conditions that increase risk of celiac disease include:


Celiac disease. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114570/Celiac-disease. Updated January 10, 2018. Accessed February 9, 2018.
Celiac disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated May 2016. Accessed February 9, 2018.
Definition & facts for celiac disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/celiac-disease/definition-facts. Updated June 2016. Accessed February 9, 2018.
What is celiac disease? Celiac Disease Foundation website. Available at: https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/understanding-celiac-disease-2/what-is-celiac-disease. Accessed February 9, 2018.
Last reviewed December 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daus Mahnke, MD
Last Updated: 2/9/2018

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at healthlibrarysupport@ebsco.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.