J Clin Gastroenterol. 2021 Mar 12. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001513. Online ahead of print.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has taken hundreds of thousands of lives globally. Besides the respiratory tract, the virus can affect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Data regarding the significance of GI symptoms in the COVID-19 course are limited. In this largest US study to date, the authors reviewed electronic encounters of 1003 consecutive patients who were tested positive for the virus between March 12 and April 3, 2020. Initial GI symptoms were present in up to 22.4% of patients and were associated with worse outcomes after adjustment for demographics, comorbidities, and other clinical symptoms. COVID-19 with GI involvement may define a more severe phenotype.