Meta-analysis: Post-COVID-19 functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2023 Apr 10. doi: 10.1111/apt.17513. Online ahead of print.


Giovanni Marasco 1 2Marcello Maida 3Cesare Cremon 2Maria Raffaella Barbaro 2Vincenzo Stanghellini 1 2Giovanni Barbara 1 2


Author information

1IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

2Department of Medical and Surgical Science, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

3Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Unit, S. Elia - Raimondi Hospital, Caltanissetta, Italy.


Introduction: The burden of post-COVID-19 functional dyspepsia (FD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) remains unclear. The aim of this meta-analysis was to estimate the rate of post-COVID-19 FD and IBS.

Methods: MEDLINE, Scopus and Embase were searched through 17 December 2022. Studies reporting the incidence of FD and/or IBS in COVID-19 survivors and controls (without COVID-19), when available, according to the Rome criteria, were included. Estimated incidence with 95% confidence intervals (CI) was pooled. The odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) was pooled; heterogeneity was expressed as I2 .

Results: Ten studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis. Overall, four studies including 1199 COVID-19 patients were considered for FD. Post-COVID-19 FD was reported by 72 patients (4%, 95% CI: 3%-5% and I2 0%). The pooled OR for FD development (three studies) in post-COVID-19 patients compared to controls was 8.07 (95% CI: 0.84-77.87, p = 0.071 and I2 = 67.9%). Overall, 10 studies including 2763 COVID-19 patients were considered for IBS. Post-COVID-19 IBS was reported by 195 patients (12%, 95% CI: 8%-16%, I2 95.6% and Egger's p = 0.002 test). The pooled OR for IBS development (four studies) in COVID-19 patients compared to controls was 6.27 (95% CI: 0.88-44.76, p = 0.067 and I2 = 81.4%); considering only studies with a prospective COVID-19 cohort (three studies), the pooled OR was 12.92 (95% CI: 3.58-46.60, p < 0.001 and I2 = 0%).

Conclusions: COVID-19 survivors were found to be at risk for IBS development compared to controls. No definitive data are available for FD.


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