Prevalence of Gastrointestinal Problems in Patients with COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Milad Borji, Behzad Badakhsh, Mohammad Karimian, Feizollah Mansouri, Farzad Zarei, Somayeh Mahdikhani, Ebrahim Salimi, Ali Gholami, Asma Tarjoman, Ali Khorshidi



 Considering the prevalence of COVID-19 worldwide, the present study aimed to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal problems (anorexia, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting) in patients with COVID-19.

Materials and Methods:

The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal problems in patients with COVID-19 using Systematic Review and Meta-analysis methodology. The search was conducted independently by two researchers on international databases, including Web of Science (ISI), Scopus, Embase, Science Direct, PubMed/Medline, and Google Scholar Search Engine. Keywords included “Vomiting”, “Anorexia”, “Diarrhea”, “Nausea”, “SARS-CoV-2”, and “COVID-19”. Data were analyzed using STATA statistic software.


The total sample size was 3602 patients. Initially, 1456 studies were included in the study, which reached 33 articles after the final screening. Regarding the prevalence of gastrointestinal problems in patients, the prevalence rate of diarrhea was 6% (95% CI: 0.06 [0.04, 0.08]), anorexia was13% (95% CI: 0.13 [0.03, 0.24]), nausea and vomiting was 4% (95% CI : 0.04 [0.03, 0.05]), and pharyngalgia was 16% (95% CI : 0.16 [0.02, 0.30]).


The results of this study can be used as a guideline for clinical professionals.


COVID-19, Gastrointestinal problems, Clinical symptoms, Systematic review, and meta-analysis

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