Introduction: Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are increasingly being recognized in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It is unclear if the presence of GI symptoms is associated with poor outcomes in COVID-19. We aim to assess if GI symptoms could be used for prognostication in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed patients admitted to a tertiary medical center in Brooklyn, NY, from March 18, 2020, to March 31, 2020, with COVID-19. The patients' medical charts were reviewed for the presence of GI symptoms at admission, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. COVID-19 patients with GI symptoms (cases) were compared with COVID-19 patients without GI symptoms (control).
Results: A total of 150 hospitalized COVID-19 patients were included, of which 31 (20.6%) patients had at least 1 or more of the GI symptoms (cases). They were compared with the 119 COVID-19 patients without GI symptoms (controls). The average age among cases was 57.6 years (SD 17.2) and control was 63.3 years (SD 14.6). No statistically significant difference was noted in comorbidities and laboratory findings. The primary outcome was mortality, which did not differ between cases and controls (41.9 vs. 37.8%, p = 0.68). No statistically significant differences were noted in secondary outcomes, including the length of stay (LOS, 7.8 vs. 7.9 days, p = 0.87) and need for mechanical ventilation (29 vs. 26.9%, p = 0.82).
Discussion: In our study, the presence of GI manifestations in COVID-19 at the time of admission was not associated with increased mortality, LOS, or mechanical ventilation.
Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Gastrointestinal manifestations; Gastrointestinal symptoms; Length of stay; Mortality; Outcomes; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.
© 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel.