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VOLUME 12 , ISSUE 1 ( January-June, 2022 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

In COVID-19 Patients, the Identified Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Tertiary Care Center of India

Malarvizhi Murugesan, Ramkumar Govindarajan, Lakshmi Prakash, Chandra Kumar Murugan, J Janifer Jasmine, Narayanasamy Krishnasamy

Keywords : Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, COVID-19, Ferritin, GI symptoms, Loss of smell, Loss of taste, Loss of appetite, SARS-CoV-2

Citation Information : Murugesan M, Govindarajan R, Prakash L, Murugan CK, Jasmine JJ, Krishnasamy N. In COVID-19 Patients, the Identified Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Tertiary Care Center of India. Euroasian J Hepatogastroenterol 2022; 12 (1):24-30.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10018-1371

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 13-07-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


Aim: This study aimed to assess the demographic details of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients, their comorbid conditions, preexisting illnesses such as tuberculosis (TB), the prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, duration of GI symptoms, gender-wise distribution of GI symptoms, age-wise distribution of GI symptoms, lab investigation, and computed tomography (CT) scanning was done to record the grading. Materials and methods: In total, 956 COVID-19 patients admitted to an isolation ward of a tertiary care center were screened for 3 months. Patients were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test with a throat swab. Patient's age, demographic details, preexisting illness, and GI symptoms such as fever, impairment of appetite, loss of taste, loss of smell, hiccups, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, symptom's duration, history of chronic drug intake, biological markers, CT scanning, and comorbidities were recorded. Based on the provided protocol, standard care management was given to the admitted COVID-19 patients. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 20.0. Frequencies with percentages, median (min, max), Chi-square test, and Mann–Whitney U test were used to test the statistical significance, and a p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: In our prospective study of 956 COVID-19 hospitalized patients, details were analyzed and the results are: the median age was 45 years, 70% of male, 60% were above 35 years, comorbidities like diabetes present in 42%, hypertension in 36%, asthma in 8%, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in 5%, and history of chronic drug intake in 21%. Among 956 COVID-19 patients, GI symptoms were loss of smell (29.2%), loss of taste (26.4%) for 3 days; nausea (10%), vomiting (7.1%), abdominal pain (12.7%), and fever (42.5%) were observed for 2 days among the 36–45 years of age-group; and the loss of appetite (19%) for 3 days among the age-group of 46–55 years. The loss of appetite (23.7 vs 16.9%) (p = 0.014), taste (32.4 vs 23.8%) (p = 0.005), nausea (14.6 vs 8.2%) (p = 0.003), and vomiting (10.8 vs 5.5%) (p = 0.004) were higher in females than in males. No gender difference was observed in loss of smell (p = 0.057), abdominal pain (12 vs 14.3%) (p = 0.491), hiccups (4 vs 2.1%) (p = 0.132), and fever (41.3 vs 45.3%) (p = 0.329). Females had significantly higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) than males (6.1 vs 3.8) (p = 0.002). No gender difference was observed in neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR) (p = 0.772), ferritin, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). CT-grade IV was higher in males than in females (1.7 vs 1.5%), but the rest of the CT grades were higher in females than in males. Conclusion: In conclusion, GI symptoms are the onset of symptoms that are first expressed after being infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Several studies showed the GI symptoms but did not analyze the age and gender that are risk factors for any disease, but our study showed all GI symptoms and their association with age and gender, which will shed light for our clinicians for early symptom identification, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment.

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