The Anonymous Widower

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 | , , ,


  1. I remember reading somewhere that maybe 30% of coeliacs may have impaired spleen function and, therefore, impaired immune systems. Coeliacs are not routinely tested for this, so you wouldn’t know until you’re ill and it would then be too late……..

    Comment by Juliana Head | April 30, 2020 | Reply

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