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Google-Digestive Symptoms Tied to Worse COVID-19 Outcomes - Medscape

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Digestive Symptoms Tied to Worse COVID-19 Outcomes  Medscape

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

UPDATED March 19, 2020: This story has been updated to clarify the study findings. // Patients with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms who were admitted to the hospital and were diagnosed with COVID-19 were more likely to have severe disease than patients who did not have GI symptoms, according to findings published March 18 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

However, the unexpectedly large proportion is due in part to the inclusion of anorexia, said Brennan M. R. Spiegel, MD, MSHS, co–editor-in-chief of theAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology. 

"If you leave out anorexia, which is very nonspecific, the percentage of COVID-19 patients with GI symptoms is about 30%," Spiegel told Medscape Medical News.

Lei Pan, MD, PhD, of Binzhou Medical University Hospital in Binzhou, China, and colleagues in the Wuhan Medical Treatment Expert Group conducted a descriptive, cross-sectional, multicenter study on 204 patients who had polymerase chain reaction–confirmed COVID-19 at three hospitals in Hubei province from January 18, 2020, to February 28, 2020. The team considered clinical characteristics, laboratory data, and treatment.

Ninety-nine patients (48.5%) presented to the hospital with digestive symptoms as their chief complaint. Most of these patients did not have underlying digestive diseases. Their symptoms included anorexia (83.8%), diarrhea(29.3%), vomiting (0.8%), and abdominal pain (0.4%).

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