Black, Hispanic COVID-19 patients likely to develop acute pancreatitis
COVID-19 patients who were Black or Hispanic were more likely to receive a pancreatitis diagnosis.
The patients were more likely to receive a pancreatitis diagnosis after adjusting for multivariate analysis, according to study published in Gastroenterology.
“This study shows that patients with COVID-19 can present with pancreatitis,” Arvind J. Trindade, MD, from the Institute of Health Innovations and Outcomes Research, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, Northwell Health in Manhasset, New York, told Healio Gastroenterology. “Physicians should be screening for upper abdominal pain and, if present, order lipase levels. We also show that Black and Hispanic people with pancreatitis were more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 after multivariate analysis during the pandemic in New York at our health system.”
Trindade and colleagues identified 48,012 patients hospitalized for acute pancreatitis at 12 hospitals within the Northwell Health System between March 1 and June 1, 2020 — during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this cohort, 36,129 patients did not have COVID-19 and 11,882 patients did have COVID-19. Investigators compared patients who had COVID-19 and acute pancreatitis with patients without COVID-10 and acute pancreatitis. Mortality, length of stay, need for mechanical ventilation and development of pancreas necrosis were the primary outcomes compared between the two groups.
On admission, 189 patients had pancreatitis and 31 of these patients also had COVID-19. Study data revealed a 0.39% pancreatitis incidence rate; 0.43% for patients with COVID-19 and 0.27% for patients without COVID-19. Further, Trindade and colleagues reported that Black and Hispanic patients were more likely to be COVID-19 positive and develop acute pancreatitis.
Results from an adjusted multivariate analysis showed that among COVID-19 patients, Black and Hispanic patients had higher odds for an acute pancreatitis diagnosis (OR = 4.48; P = .01 and OR = 5.07; P = .006). Moreover, patients with pancreatitis had higher odds for mechanical ventilation (OR = 5.65; P = .01) and had longer length of hospital stays (OR = 3.22; P = .009). The development of pancreas necrosis and morality was similar to that of the COVID-19 group; however, this was not statistically significant.
“We are hopeful that our findings would be further validated through additional, large studies,” Trindade said. “While the prevalence of pancreatitis was low in this study, future larger studies from other health systems would be valuable to understand the true connection.”