Anonymous asked: Hi..I was diagnosed with Celiac about 6 months ago and this really concerns my boyfriend as far as future children go. My mom had the genetics test done for it, but it was negative and as far as we know, no one else in our family has it. My genetics test showed a mild-moderate risk of it being passed on to children, but what exactly does this mean? What are the chances my children will be born with the disease?
Here is a very helpful factsheet about genetic testing for celiac disease from the University of Chicago Celiac Center: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/CDCFactSheets4_Genetic.pdf. The factsheet lists the chance that a first-degree relative (sibling, parents, or child) of a celiac would have the disease as approximately 4.5%. There are 2 genes that put a person at risk for CD: HLA DQ2 and DQ8. A child may inherit one of the genes from one parent or both genes, one from each parent if they are both positive. Positive for one gene is a certain amount of risk; positive for both genes is a higher risk for developing CD. But being positive for these genes does NOT gaurantee that CD will occur! About 33% of Americans are positive for at least one of the genes, but only 1% have the disease. I would suggest contacting the hotline of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center to ask about the “mild-moderate risk” that your tests showed.
I think this is a topic many of us think about when considering having children….would we knowingly put this burden on our children? And yet, it’s not a gaurantee. I would think finding out if your boyfriend is positive for either gene would also influence the risk that your children have.