New research conducted at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, has found a significant association between SARS-CoV-2 infections and the development of gastroparesis. The study, published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, sheds light on the increased risk of gastroparesis following COVID-19 infection.
Gastroparesis, also known as delayed gastric emptying, is a condition where food movement from the stomach to the small intestine is disrupted. This can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and complications related to blood sugar levels and nutrition. While previous studies have acknowledged gastrointestinal symptoms associated with COVID-19, this study delves into the potential long-term consequences.
To investigate the link between COVID-19 and gastroparesis on a larger scale, researchers utilized the TriNetX multi-institutional database. The study focused on adult patients aged 18-65 with COVID-19 between April 2020 and December 2021. Patients with a history of bariatric surgery or gastroparesis before the index event were excluded. Propensity score matching ensured balanced cohorts, considering various factors.
The study included a total of 5,566,643 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and 499,709 patients with other viral respiratory infections. After matching the cohorts, the researchers found that patients with COVID-19 had a higher risk of newly diagnosed gastroparesis compared to those with other viral respiratory infections at different intervals after infection.
These findings have significant implications for the long-term complications that may arise after COVID-19, particularly in the gastrointestinal domain. The higher risk of gastroparesis in individuals recovering from COVID-19 highlights the need for increased awareness and monitoring of such complications. It is worth noting that the risk appears to decrease over time, suggesting the importance of long-term management of gastrointestinal symptoms in COVID-19 survivors.
Further research is needed to confirm these findings and understand the underlying mechanisms behind the increased susceptibility to gastroparesis in COVID-19 survivors. As the world continues to navigate the aftermath of the pandemic, addressing potential long-term complications becomes crucial for comprehensive healthcare strategies.