COVID-19 tied to higher risk of digestive diseases

Patients who have survived a COVID-19 infection may be at a greater risk of developing digestive diseases, according to research published Jan. 10 in BMC Medicine.

Researchers analyzed data on COVID-19 patients from a UK database and compared it to rates of the digestive issues for the individuals after infection, as well as to a control group. They found that 30 days after COVID-19 infection, patients had an increased risk of 41% for gastroesophageal reflux disease; 38% for GI dysfunction; 36% for pancreatic disease; 35% for severe liver disease; 27% for nonalcoholic liver disease; 23% for peptic ulcers; and 21% for gallbladder disease.

"COVID-19 patients are at a higher risk of developing digestive diseases," the authors of the study from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, wrote. "The risks exhibited a stepwise escalation with the severity of COVID-19, were noted in cases of reinfection, and persisted even after one year follow-up."


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