HealthDay News — Acute pancreatitis may be a gastrointestinal manifestation of COVID-19, according to research published online in Gastroenterology.

Sumant Inamdar, MBBS, from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, and colleagues assessed the point prevalence, risk factors, and outcomes of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 presenting with acute pancreatitis in a large New York health system (March 1 through June 1, 2020). Outcomes were compared for those with pancreatitis and COVID-19 vs those with pancreatitis but without COVID-19.

The researchers found that during the study period, 189 patients met the criteria for a diagnosis of pancreatitis (point prevalence, 0.39%), and 32 of the 189 (17%) were COVID-19-positive, yielding a point prevalence of 0.27% of pancreatitis among patients hospitalized with COVID-19. There was a higher proportion of Black and Hispanic patients with pancreatitis in the COVID-19-positive group vs the COVID-19-negative group, which remained significant in an adjusted analysis (odds ratios, 4.48 and 5.07, respectively). Patients with pancreatitis and COVID-19 were more likely to require mechanical ventilation and have longer hospital stays vs patients with pancreatitis but not COVID-19 (odds ratios, 5.65 and 3.22, respectively).

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“These findings support the notion that pancreatitis should be included in the list of gastrointestinal manifestations of COVID-19,” the authors wrote.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

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