VCOM Research Day Program Book 2023

Medical Resident Research Cl inical

03 Has Increased Alcohol Use During the COVID-19 Lockdown Resulted in Greater Incidence of Gastrointestinal Bleeds?

Toni Young, DO; Lauren Sprague, MD; Mufrad Zaman, MD; Samiullah Wagan, MD Corresponding author:

HCA LewisGale Hospital Montgomery, Blacksburg, VA

Safety measures (i.e. social distancing and stay-at home orders) that were enforced to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have altered individuals' routines and social interactions leading to increased use of alcohol. Increased alcohol consumption has been linked to higher risks of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeds. The purpose of this study was to observe the incidence of GI bleeds and alcohol use from 2019 to 2020. The analyses compared the incidence of GI bleeds in all HCA Capital Division facilities between February and August 2020 with concurrent positive alcohol (EtOH) intake in patients 21 years or older to the incidence of GI bleeds between February and August of 2019. A total of 1,306 individuals 21 years of age or older with GI bleeds that had an EtOH test performed during their admission from the specified date ranges were included in the study. GI bleeds were defined as a patient with a diagnosis

of angiodysplasia of the stomach with hemorrhage, acute hemorrhagic gastritis, diverticular disease with hemorrhage, gastritis and duodenitis with hemorrhage, GI hemorrhage, hematemesis, melena/hematochezia, and peptic ulcer with hemorrhage. Unadjusted models demonstrated that the ratio of a positive EtOH test in patients with GI bleeds was significantly increased during 2020 when compared to 2019. The incidence of admissions for GI bleeds with a positive alcohol test was 2.517 times higher in 2020 than in 2019 (P-value < 0.05). The odds of a positive alcohol test in patients with GI bleeds adjusted for demographics (comorbidity, age, sex, BMI, race, NSAID use, steroid use, peptic ulcer disease, and tobacco use) was 2.532 times higher in 2020 than in 2019 (P-value < 0.05). These results suggested a trend of increased alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 lockdown. As GI bleeds can be a dangerous and potentially fatal

sequela of alcohol consumption, education regarding safer coping mechanisms during times of fewer social interactions and the risk of alcohol use should be an important facet of providers’ practice. Additionally, this information can be utilized by public health officials to consider methods for reducing excessive alcohol use if any long-term quarantines are needed in the future.


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