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Gastrointestinal bleeding in hospitalized COVID-19 patients: a propensity score matched cohort study.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding has been observed amongst patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Recently, anticoagulation has shown to decrease mortality, but it is unclear whether this contributes to increased GI bleeding. The aims of this study are: (i) to examine whether there are risk factors for GI bleeding in COVID-19 patients and (ii) to study whether there is a mortality difference between hospitalized patients with COVID-19 with and without GI bleeding.

METHODS: This is a propensity score matched case-control study from a large health system in the New York metropolitan area between March 1st and April 27th. COVID-19 patients with GI bleeding were matched 1:1 to COVID-19 patients without bleeding using a propensity score that took into account comorbidities, demographics, GI bleeding risk factors and length of stay.

RESULTS: Of 11, 158 hospitalized with COVID-19, 314 patients were identified with GI bleeding. The point prevalence of GI bleeding was 3%. There were no identifiable risk factors for GI bleeding. Use of anticoagulation medication or antiplatelet agents was not associated with increased risk of GI bleeding in COVID-19 patients. For patients who developed a GI bleed during the hospitalization, there was an increased mortality risk in the GI bleeding group (OR 1.58, P = 0.02).

CONCLUSION: Use of anticoagulation or antiplatelet agents was not risk factors for GI bleeding in a large cohort of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Those with GI bleeding during the hospitalization had increased mortality.

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