Gastrointestinal Bleeding is Associated with Worst Outcomes of COVID-19

COVID-19 patients present with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. A retrospective study was conducted to explore the prevalence of GI symptoms in COVID-19. The study included 2,552 COVID-19 patients. The median age was 57.8 years old and 50.4% were male. The data were collected from medical records. It was found that the prevalence of GI Symptoms in COVID-19 patients was 21.0%. Diarrhea was the most common type of GI symptoms, followed by abdominal discomfort, nausea and/or vomiting, constipation, acid reflux and/or heartburn, abdominal pain, and GI bleeding. It was observed that the GI symptoms were more common in patients of age above 60 years and less in males. Additionally, 27.9% and 21.5% of COVID-19 patients with GI symptoms had chest distress and/or shortness of breath, respectively.


Furthermore, patients with GI symptoms had significantly higher d-dimer and lower Hb and albumin than those without. The proportion of comorbidity was not significantly different between patients with and without GI symptoms. Patients with GI symptoms had a significantly longer hospital stay and higher proportions of transferring to ICU requiring mechanical ventilation. GI bleeding and abdominal discomfort was significantly associated with the composite endpoint, but not diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting, constipation, acid reflux and/or heartburn, or abdominal pain. Finally, it was observed that the mortality rate was higher in COVID-19 patients with GI symptoms.


Thus, concluding that GI symptoms are common in COVID-19 patients and may be associated with worse outcomes. Notably, when COVID-19 patients develop GI bleeding, clinicians should be alert to a higher risk of disease progression and death. Future research is required for GI symptoms in COVID-19 patients at admission and during hospitalization, and to further explore the association of GI symptoms with prognosis.


Ref Link: Frontiers

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