COVID-19 patients with GI symptoms have worse outcomes, study finds

Patients experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms from COVID-19 have an increased risk of hospitalization, ICU care and intubation compared to patients without GI symptoms, according to a study presented at the 2020 American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting and Postgraduate Course. 

Patients with GI symptoms were found to be older, had higher body mass indexes, and had a higher occurrence of diabetes and hypertension. 

The study included data from 921 COVID-19 patients treated at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago between March 12 and April 3. Of those patients, 206 (22.4 percent) reported at least one GI symptom. Nausea/vomiting was the most commonly reported symptom, according to the study. 

Worsened outcomes were linked to GI symptoms after adjusting for demographics, comorbidities and other clinical symptoms, according to researchers. 

"Translation of these results to clinical practice may involve additional focus on screening for GI symptoms to help better risk stratify COVID-19 positive patients," said Dr. Darbaz Adnan, study author, in a statement to Becker's

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