Anorexia And Diarrhea Top List Of GI Symptoms In COVID-19 Pa
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Patients with severe COVID-19 were significantly more likely than those with milder cases to have GI symptoms of anorexia and diarrhea, as well as abnormal liver function, based on data from a meta-analysis of more than 4,500 patients.

In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, the researchers identified 31 studies including 4,682 COVID-19 patients. A total of 26 studies were analyzed for the prevalence of GI symptoms, specifically nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and anorexia. Of these, anorexia and diarrhea were significantly more common in COVID-19 patients, with prevalence of 17% and 8% respectively.

In addition, 14 of the studies included in the analysis assessed the prevalence of abnormal liver function. Increased alanine aminotransferase was the most common, occurring in 25% of patients, compared with increased AST and total bilirubin.

When assessed by disease severity, patients with severe disease and those in the ICU were significantly more likely than general/non-ICU patients to have anorexia, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The severely ill patients were significantly more likely to have increased AST and ALT.

The study findings were limited by several factors including the unclear classification of digestive system disease and liver disease in many of the studies, the small sample sizes, and the lack of data on pathology of the liver or colon in COVID-19 patient. More research is needed, but the findings suggest that COVID-19 could contribute to liver damage because the most significant abnormal liver function was increased ALT, they said.

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