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COVID-19 Infection May Initially Present as Acute Pancreatitis

Rates of acute pancreatitis higher among Blacks, Hispanics versus Whites hospitalized with COVID-19

FRIDAY, Aug. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Acute pancreatitis may be a gastrointestinal manifestation of COVID-19, according to research published online Aug. 26 in Gastroenterology.

Sumant Inamdar, M.B.B.S., 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 versus 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 percent), and 32 of the 189 (17 percent) were COVID-19-positive, yielding a point prevalence of 0.27 percent 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 versus 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 versus patients with pancreatitis but not COVID-19 (odds ratios, 5.65 and 3.22, respectively).

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

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

Abstract/Full Text

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