Eosinophilic GI Disease May Offer Protection Against Poor COVID-19 Outcomes

By Reuters Staff

September 30, 2021

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new analysis supports other work suggesting that eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder (EGID) may protect against severe SARS-CoV-2 illness.

"Though no specific conclusions can be made about mechanisms driving these observations, it is plausible that the reduced expression of ACE2/TMPRSS2 and the eosinophilic disease itself may play a protective role in COVID-19 mortality," researchers write in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

Dr. Fares Qeadan of the University of Utah School of Medicine and colleagues compared COVID-19 outcomes among U.S. patients with and without EGID.

In the primary analysis of COVID-19-positive patients (67 with EGID and 223 without), EGID patients were more apt to be hospitalized (53.6% vs. 44.6%, P=0.09), and stayed longer in the hospital (median maximum length of stay: 1.5 vs. 0.3, P=0.062), although neither finding reached statistical significance.

Non-EGID were intubated faster (111 days vs. 142 days) and died sooner (162 vs. 167 days), however, although these findings were not statistically significant.

When adjusting for confounding variables, EGID patients again exhibited higher hospitalization rates and longer hospital stays, yet had a lower hazard of invasive ventilator dependence (adjusted HR, 0.95; 95% confidence interval, 0.50 to 1.79) and dying in the hospital (aHR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.11 to 1.39). However, these results were also not significant.

The researchers repeated their analyses on a larger group of COVID-19 exposed and positive patients (229 with EGID and 846 without). The EGID patients again had higher rates of hospitalization and longer hospital stays, and this time significantly so, but had significantly longer times to intubation (222 vs. 191) and death (260 vs. 225 days).

"These results imply that there is some mechanistic feature of EGID that leads to a less severe COVID-19 course," Dr. Qeadan and colleagues conclude, adding that "this should be assessed in future studies."

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/2ZpIi1d Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, online September 23, 2021.

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