Independent Predictors and Causes of Thirty-Day Gastrointestinal Readmissions Following COVID-19-Related Hospitalizations: Analysis of the National Readmission Database

Robert Kwei-Nsoro, Bashar Attar, Hafeez Shaka, Pius Ojemolon, Muhammad Sana, Abdul Tawab Shaka, Naveen Baskaran, Philip Kanemo, Mohankumar Doraiswamy


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic led to significant mortality and morbidity in the United States. The burden of COVID-19 was not limited to the respiratory tract alone but had significant extrapulmonary manifestations. We decided to examine the causes, predictors, and outcomes of gastrointestinal (GI)-related causes of 30-day readmission following index COVID-19 hospitalization.

Methods: We used the National Readmission Database (NRD) from 2020 to identify hospitalizations among adults with principal diagnosis of COVID-19. We identified GI-related hospitalizations within 30 days of index admission after excluding elective and traumatic admissions. We identified the top causes of GI-related readmission, and the outcomes of these hospitalizations. We used a multivariate Cox regression analysis to identify the independent predictors of readmission.

Results: Among 1,024,492 index hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 in the 2020 NRD database, 644,903 were included in the 30-day readmission study. Of these 3,276 (0.5%) were readmitted in 30 days due to primary GI causes. The top five causes of readmissions we identified in this study were GI bleeding, intestinal obstruction, acute diverticulitis, acute pancreatitis, and acute cholecystitis. Multivariate Cox regression analysis done adjusting for confounders showed that renal failure, alcohol abuse, and peptic ulcer disease were associated with increased odds of 30-day readmission from GI-related causes.

Conclusions: GI manifestations of COVID-19 are not uncommon and remain an important cause of readmission. Targeted interventions addressing the modifiable predictors of readmission identified will be beneficial in reducing the burden on already limited healthcare resources.

Gastroenterol Res. 2023;16(3):157-164


COVID-19; 30-day readmission; GI bleeding; Intestinal obstruction; Acute pancreatitis

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