COVID-19 linked to pancreatitis

COVID-19 is associated with pancreatitis and might even cause it, a new study suggests.

Researchers from New York City-based Northwell Health conducted an observational study of 48,012 adult patients admitted to 12 of its hospitals between March 1 and June 1. On admission, 189 patients were identified with pancreatitis, of which 32 patients (17 percent) were diagnosed with COVID-19.

In 69 percent of cases for patients with both COVID-19 and pancreatitis, the origins of pancreatitis were unknown, implicating COVID-19 as the cause, study authors state.

In addition, the need for mechanical ventilation was higher with among pancreatitis patients with COVID-19 (28 percent), than those without COVID-19 (6 percent). The length of stay nearly quadrupled for pancreatitis patients with COVID-19.

Study findings were published in the journal Gastroenterology.

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