International Journal of Celiac Disease
ISSN (Print): 2334-3427 ISSN (Online): 2334-3486 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/ijcd Editor-in-chief: Samasca Gabriel
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International Journal of Celiac Disease. 2021, 9(2), 71-76
DOI: 10.12691/ijcd-9-2-4
Open AccessArticle

Awareness of Celiac Disease among the General Public in Saudi Arabia

Maha H. Alhussain1,

1Department of Food Sciences and Nutrition, College of Food and Agriculture, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

Pub. Date: May 18, 2021

Cite this paper:
Maha H. Alhussain. Awareness of Celiac Disease among the General Public in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Celiac Disease. 2021; 9(2):71-76. doi: 10.12691/ijcd-9-2-4

Abstract

Background: Celiac disease (CD) is an immune-mediated systemic disorder triggered by dietary gluten and is considered one of the most common lifelong food-related disorders worldwide. The knowledge of CD among the general public in Saudi Arabia remains limited. Therefore, we aimed to assess the awareness and knowledge of CD among the general public in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey including members of the general public was conducted in Saudi Arabia. The survey included questions assessing the public’s awareness about CD, gluten sensitivity, and peanut allergy, as well as celiac disease-related knowledge. Results: From a total of 1230 responses received, 76.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 74.0%–79.4%) were females, 42.0% (95% CI, 37.7–46.3) were aged between 31–45 years, and 64.3% (95% CI, 61.0%–67.6%) had Bachelor’s degree. Less than half of the participants had heard of CD (48.4%; 95% CI, 44.4%–52.4%), but the majority had heard of peanut allergy (80.1%; 95% CI, 77.6%–82.6%) and gluten sensitivity (72.4%; 95% CI, 69.5%–75.3%). The prevalence of CD was estimated incorrectly by more than 80% of participants. Other questions on participants’ knowledge associated with CD were answered “Do not know” by the majority. Females demonstrated a greater awareness of CD, peanut allergy, and gluten sensitivity, and had a higher percentage of correct responses to questions related to CD than males. Conclusion: This study highlights the need to increase the awareness and knowledge of CD, especially in the recognition of its symptoms. Educational efforts toward increasing the awareness of the general public about CD could help optimize its diagnosis and management.

Keywords:
Celiac Disease Gluten-Free Diet Gluten Sensitivity Saudi Arabia questionnaire

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