Prevalence of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infection

Prevalence of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infection: Results of the Prospective Controlled Multinational GI-COVID-19 Study Giovanni Marasco, Cesare Cremon, Maria Raffaella Barbaro, Daniele Salvi, Giulia Cacciari, Anna Kagramanova, Dmitry Bordin, Vasile Drug, Edgidia Miftode, Pietro Fusaroli, Salem Youssef Mohamed, Chiara Ricci , Massimo Bellini, M Masudur Rahman, Luigi Melcarne, Javier Santos, Beatriz Lobo, Serhat Bor, Suna Yapali, Deniz Akyol, Ferdane Pirincci Sapmaz, Yonca Yilmaz Urun, Tugce Eskazan, Altay Celebi, Huseyin Kacmaz , Berat Ebik, Hatice Cilem Binicier , Mehmet Sait Bugdayci, Munkhtsetseg Banzragch Yağcı, Husnu Pullukcu, Berrin Yalınbas Kaya, Ali Tureyen, İbrahim Hatemi, Elif Sitre Koc, Goktug Sirin, Ali Riza Calıskan, Goksel Bengi, Esra Ergun Alıs, Snezana Lukic, Meri Trajkovska, Keren Hod, Dan Dumitrascu, Antonello Pietrangelo, Elena Corradini, Magnus Simren, Jessica Sjolund, Navkiran Tornkvist , Uday C Ghoshal, Olga Kolokolnikova , Antonio Colecchia, Jordi Serra, Giovanni Maconi, Roberto De Giorgio, Silvio Danese , Pietro Portincasa , Michele Di Stefano , Marcello Maggio, Elena Philippou, Yeong Yeh Lee, Alessandro Venturi, Claudio Borghi, Marco Zoli , Paolo Gionchetti, Pierluigi Viale , Vincenzo Stanghellini, Giovanni Barbara, GI-COVID19 Study Group Published Jan 2022, in The American journal of gastroenterology.


Abstract

Introduction: Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19) have been reported with great variability and without standardization. In hospitalized patients, we aimed to evaluate the prevalence of GI symptoms, factors associated with their occurrence, and variation at 1 month.

Methods: The GI-COVID-19 is a prospective, multicenter, controlled study. Patients with and without COVID-19 diagnosis were recruited at hospital admission and asked for GI symptoms at admission and after 1 month, using the validated Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale questionnaire.

Results: The study included 2036 hospitalized patients. A total of 871 patients (575 COVID+ and 296 COVID-) were included for the primary analysis. GI symptoms occurred more frequently in patients with COVID-19 (59.7%; 343/575 patients) than in the control group (43.2%; 128/296 patients) (P < 0.001). Patients with COVID-19 complained of higher presence or intensity of nausea, diarrhea, loose stools, and urgency as compared with controls. At a 1-month follow-up, a reduction in the presence or intensity of GI symptoms was found in COVID-19 patients with GI symptoms at hospital admission. Nausea remained increased over controls. Factors significantly associated with nausea persistence in COVID-19 were female sex, high body mass index, the presence of dyspnea, and increased C-reactive protein levels.

Discussion: The prevalence of GI symptoms in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is higher than previously reported. Systemic and respiratory symptoms are often associated with GI complaints. Nausea may persist after the resolution of COVID-19 infection.

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