Large study links COVID-19 to lingering gastrointestinal issues

A large new study published in Nature Communications found COVID-19 patients are much more likely to experience gastrointestinal problems a year after infection than those who haven't had COVID-19. 

To conduct the study, researchers compared medical records from 154,068 COVID-19 patients in the Veterans Health Administration system to a control group of about 5.6 million people with no evidence of confirmed COVID-19. Overall, COVID-19 patients were 36 percent more likely to experience lingering gastrointestinal problems they didn't have before their infection, according to the findings. The most common diagnoses were acid-related disorders, including gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease. 

"There seems to be some dysregulation that points to a major imbalance in acid production," Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, study author and chief of research and development at the VA St .Louis Health Care System, told The New York Times. 

Most of the patients in the study contracted COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic, before vaccines were available. View the full study here


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