Study Suggests Diarrhea Is Associated With Increased Disease Severity in COVID-19

Diarrhea Is Associated With
Increased Disease Severity in COVID-19:
Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Author Insight from Subash Ghimire, MD, Guthrie/Robert Packer Hospital

What’s new here and important for clinicians?

Global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus [COVID-19 infection] has caused a major public health problem. Recently published literature has focused on increasing prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms of COVID-19. Through systematic review and meta-analysis, we looked at prevalence of diarrhea in different severities of COVID-19. We included nine published studies which reported data on diarrhea based on severity of COVID-19, including 2192 patients. There were 1751 patients in non-severe disease group and 441 patients in severe group. Patient with severe disease had higher odds of diarrhea as one of the presenting symptoms (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.11- 2.38, p= 0.01).

What do patients need to know?

Our findings show that diarrhea is significantly associated with severe disease in COVID-19. Presence of diarrhea can have prognostic value in COVID-19.

Author Contact – Subash Ghimire, MD, Guthrie/Robert Packer Hospital

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