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Gastrointestinal (GI) Symptoms Associated with Lower Mortality Risk in COVID-19 Patients, Study Suggests

A recent study in Northern Italy suggests that patients with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are susceptible to gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, which appears to predict a better prognosis.

Photo: Gastrointestinal (GI) Symptoms | InStyleHealth

“The most typical presentation of COVID-19 is an acute respiratory syndrome whose most common symptoms include fever, cough, and dyspnea,” according to experts. “However, GI symptoms, such as diarrhea and nausea/vomiting, are increasingly reported in patients affected by COVID-19.”

The study recruited patients who received diagnosis of COVID-19 between March 23rd and April 5th 2020. The authors of the study collected patient demographics and medical history, laboratory data, and clinical results.

A customized questionnaire, administered at time of diagnosis, was employed to collect the data on the presence and time of onset of fever, typical respiratory symptoms, GI symptoms, and other symptoms (e.g., fatigue, headache, myalgia/arthralgia, anosmia, ageusia/dysgeusia, sore throat, and ocular symptoms).

Of the 190 patients identified in this study, 138 (69 %) presented with at least one GI symptom at diagnosis. This excludes hyporexia or anorexia, 93 patients (48.9%) had at least one GI symptom. In fact, GI symptoms, specifically diarrhea, correlated with a lower mortality. Based on a multivariate analysis, it confirmed diarrhea as an independent predictor of reduced mortality among patients with COVID-19.

The authors of the study said, “These data suggest that, in some patients, the GI tract may be more involved than the respiratory system in sever acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, and this could account for the less severe course of disease.”

For the complete details of the clinical study, click here.



Source: Am J Gastroenterol 2021;116:306-310

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