Severe pediatric COVID-19 linked to older age and chronic comorbidities

Sept. 16, 2021

In an effort to aid mitigation strategies for children who are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease, a group of physicians at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt studied data from 45 children’s hospitals around the country — 20,000 patients were included.

The study, “Factors Associated with COVID-19 Disease Severity in U.S. Children,” published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, determined the factors associated with severe disease and poor health outcomes among children presenting to the hospital with COVID-19. These included older age and chronic comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes and neurologic conditions, among others.

The retrospective cohort study noted that approximately one out of every four children admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 developed severe disease and required ICU care during April and September 2020.

Study investigators hope that the findings will buoy mitigation efforts that proved most beneficial for children and adolescents during the pandemic, including remote learning, social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing, both for students and teachers.

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