Backgroud: To describe the frequency and distribution characteristics of gastrointestinal symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.
Methods: As a cohort study, all confirmed COVID-19 patients with gastrointestinal symptoms at Xiangyang No.1 people’s hospital were included until February 21st, 2020. Course of disease no less than 21 days.Gastrointestinal symptoms relevant data were extracted and analyzed. The frequency histograms of the symptoms were plotted. Main symptom characteristics were summarized.
Results: Of 50 included patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, 21 were male, 29were female. The mean age was 53 (SD 16) years. Course of disease ranged from 21 to 34 days with a median of 26 days. Among all patients, 16 were critically ill and five died, 12 discharged. Thirty-one clinical symptoms occurred 3168 times in total, 6 gastrointestinal symptoms occurred 439 (13.86%) times and 25 non-gastrointestinal symptoms occurred 2 729(86.14%) times. All symptoms and non-gastrointestinal symptoms distributed in 1 to 34 days, reached peak on 6th day of follow up, first seven days were the fastigium and decreasing in the rest days. Gastrointestinal symptoms mainly distributed in 1 to 34 days, reached a peak of 36 times per day on 6th of follow-up with a fastigium during 6 to 12 day, showed a trend of rise first and then fall. Nausea, vomit and abdominal discomfort occurred 133, 70 and 62 times, respectively.
Conclusions: A symptom frequency to time distribution model could describe the disease process quantitatively, indicating the change law of gastrointestinal symptoms and the organ damages in gastrointestinal system, could help us to better understand and treat the new disease. Females showed higher incidence of gastrointestinal symptoms, whether there is a sex difference in susceptibility needs to be further confirmed.
Trial regitration: retrospectively registered
Authors Guoxin Huang and Shengduo Pei contributed equally to this work.