News: Half of hospitalized COVID-19 patients have lingering GI symptoms

CDI Strategies - Volume 15, Issue 27

Inability to gain weight persisted for months after discharge for many hospitalized COVID-19 patients, according to a study published in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal.

While the study found that other gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as gastroenteritis, GI bleeding, and pancreatitis resolved for most patients within three months after having COVID-19, the inability to gain weight remained a longer-term issue for a higher percentage of patients. Just over 50% of patients in the study could not regain wait after three months after discharge, and 32.4% could not gain weight six months later. Further, 56.4% of patients with malnutrition were unable to regain weight at six months after discharge.

GI symptoms occur between 17.6% and 53% of the time in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, the study explains. The resolution of gastroenteritis, GI bleeding, and pancreatitis within three months “provides reassurance that most individuals with the onset of [GI symptoms] associated with COVID-19 infection” will see similar symptoms resolve within the same timeframe.

Though the study shows that many COVID-19 patients struggle with regaining weight after the infection, authors also note that the reason for this inability is still largely unknown.

Editor’s note: The Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal article can be found here. Additional ACDIS coverage of COVID-19 can be found here.

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