The Anonymous Widower

Coeliac Journey Through Covid-19 – The Elderly And Covid-19

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The Elderly And Covid-19

Note that this page is an updated version of A Thought On Deaths Of The Elderly From Covid-19, which I wrote in April 2020.

The main update concern dates and ages.

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

I am seventy-five and a coeliac, which was diagnosed when I was fifty in 1997.

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 earlier 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 were there in the UK population in 2020?

  • Age UK had a figure of twelve million who were over 65 in the UK.
  • If 1-in-100, as stated by Coeliac UK and the NHS, in the UK are coeliac, that is 120,000 coeliacs over 65.
  • The NHS quotes the 1-in-100 figure on this web page, which also says reported cases of coeliac disease are higher in women than men.

Note that as of 2020, 177,388 have been diagnosed with Covid-19.


Many of those 120,000 coeliacs will have been born before 1960 and have a high probability 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! From my personal experience of living fifty years as an undiagnosed coeliac and over twenty-three years after diagnosis, that my immune system is now a lot stronger.

A full statistical calculation of the elderly and Covid-19 needs to be done.

May 7, 2023 - Posted by | Health | , , ,


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