Gastrointestinal manifestations associated with systemic sclerosis: results from the nationwide inpatient sample

Authors Yaseen Alastal, Tariq A. Hammad, Anas Renno, Basmah Khalil, Joel Pierre, Bismark Kwaah, Sadik A. Khuder, Ali Nawras.


Background Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a multisystem disease associated with significant morbidity and increased mortality. The prevalence of different gastrointestinal (GI) manifestations has been investigated in multiple, but mainly small, retrospective studies. In this study, we investigated the prevalence and risk for a broad spectrum of GI disorders and malignancies in a large sample of inpatients with SSc in the United States.

Methods We conducted a retrospective analysis using the 2010-2011 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project - Nationwide Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS). SSc patients were identified by ICD-9-CM code 710.1. Non-SSc patients ("controls") were matched to cases 4:1 by age and sex. We examined demographics, clinical characteristics, and a range of GI conditions.

Results From 15,824,031 total patients, 13,633 cases of SSc were matched to 54,532 controls. The prevalence of GI manifestations among SSc patients was 59.24% compared to 29.96% for controls (P<0.0001). Significantly elevated GI manifestations in SSc patients included dysphagia (4.3% vs. 1.9%, P<0.0001), esophageal reflux (34.8% vs. 15.4%, P<0.0001), Barrett's esophagus (1.7% vs. 0.3%, P<0.0001), constipation (6% vs. 4.6%, P<0.0001), diarrhea (4.5% vs. 2.4%, P<0.0001), fecal incontinence (0.4% vs. 0.2%, P<0.0001), and celiac disease (0.2% vs. 0%, P<0.0001). Some GI disorders were significantly lower in SSc patients, including cholelithiasis (1.6% vs. 2.1%, P<0.0001) and GI malignancies (1% vs. 2.2%, P<0.0001).

Conclusions Our results emphasize the established association between SSc and esophageal disorders, such as dysphagia and reflux disease. Our analysis indicated a significant positive association between SSc and celiac disease, and a negative association between SSC and cholelithiasis.

Keywords Gastrointestinal manifestations, systemic sclerosis, prevalence, HCUP, comorbidities

Ann Gastroenterol 2017; 30 (5): 498-503

Original Articles