The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On Coeliacs And Covid-19 In Cambridgeshire

I was diagnosed as a coeliac by Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

  • One of the consultants there told me, that they had a very high number of coeliacs on the books and the number was one of the highest in the country.
  • I also used to eat in Carluccios in the centre of Cambridge and the manager once told me that they did an Annual Dinner for the local branch of Coeliac UK.
  • He also told me, that they had the highest gluten-free sales in the group.

I think it is fairly likely that Cambridge has a lot of diagnosed coeliacs.

But it is not a place with health problems, that jump out of the pages of the tabloids.

My theory is that because Cambridge does a lot of gastroenterology research, they have a good rate in finding coeliacs.

So how is Cambridgeshire doing in the COVID-19 pandemic?

In Five Eastern Counties, I said this about COVID-19 in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, where a lot of patients go to Addenbrooke’s.

  • Cambridgeshire – 673 of 852,523 or 0.08%
  • Suffolk – 936 of 768,556 or 0.12%

Both seem to be low. How do they compare to Oxfordshire?

  • Oxfordshire – 1515 of 887, 564 or 0.17%

I wouldn’t have thought that Oxfordshire would have a rate twice that of Cambridgeshire!

  • The counties are similar in population.
  • Both have proportions of industry, farming and academia
  • The cities of Oxford and Cambridge are similar in character

Could it be that Addenbrooke’s has diagnosed most of the coeliacs in Cambridgeshire?

I’m no medical expert, but someone should look at it!


April 30, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Thought On Deaths Of The Elderly From Covid-19

It has been shown, that a lot of the deaths from Covid-19 are over seventy.

I am seventy-two and a coeliac, which was diagnosed when I was fifty.

As my GP practice nurse said at the time of my diagnosis, as we read my doctors notes together, the signs are there of coeliac disease in a lot of my visits to a doctor.

So why wasn’t I diagnosed earlier?

  • There wasn’t a test for young children until 1960, so my early bad health couldn’t be diagnosed.
  • No clue as to my problems was obtained until an elderly but extremely competent locum decided that my blood should be analysed as a fiftieth birthday present. I had no B12 and was running on empty.
  • Eventually, I was sent to Addenbrooke’s and I was diagnosed by a blood test. I suspect it was a trial of a new genetic test, as I got the result by post in two days.

How many undiagnosed coeliacs are there in those over seventy, who because they are coeliacs, have a compromised immune system?

I would be undiagnosed but for that elderly locum!

How many other coeliacs are there in the UK population?

  • Age UK has a figure of twelve million who are over 65 in the UK.
  • If 1-in-100, as stated by Coeliac UK, in the UK are coeliac, that is 120,000 coeliacs over 65.

Note that as of today 177,388 have been diagnosed with Covid-19.


Many of those 120,000 coeliacs will have been born before 1960 and have a high probably of not having been diagnosed. for the simple reason, that a childhood test for coeliac disease didn’t exist.

Will these undiagnosed coeliacs have a compromised immune system, that makes them  more susceptible to Covid-19?

It has been said, that a good immune system helps you fight Covid-19!

April 30, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , | 6 Comments