Children with type 1 diabetes, cardiac, congenital anomalies, obesity at high risk of COVID-19
According to a recent research, it has been found out that a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness among children with medical complexity and certain underlying conditions, such as type 1 diabetes, cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies, and obesity.
The study is published in the JAMA Network Open.
Information on underlying conditions and severe COVID-19 illness among children is limited. To date, most children with SARS-CoV-2 infection have been asymptomatic or had mild COVID-19 symptoms, but some children have had severe illness. Prior literature identified risk factors for severe COVID-19 illness in children, including being younger than 1 year or having an underlying medical condition, such as congenital heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, or neurologic conditions.
Therefore, Lyudmyla Kompaniyets and colleagues from the COVID-19 Response, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia carried out the present study with the objective to examine the risk of severe COVID-19 illness among children associated with underlying medical conditions and medical complexity.
This cross-sectional study included patients aged 18 years and younger with International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification code U07.1 (COVID-19) or B97.29 (other coronavirus) during an emergency department or inpatient encounter from March 2020 through January 2021.
Data were collected from the Premier Healthcare Database Special COVID-19 Release, which included data from more than 800 US hospitals. Multivariable generalized linear models, controlling for patient and hospital characteristics, were used to estimate adjusted risk of severe COVID-19 illness associated with underlying medical conditions and medical complexity.
Hospitalization and severe illness when hospitalized (ie, combined outcome of intensive care unit admission, invasive mechanical ventilation, or death) were categorized as main outcomes to be determined.
The following results were observed-
- Among 43 465 patients with COVID-19 aged 18 years or younger, the median (interquartile range) age was 12 (4-16) years, 22 943 (52.8%) were female patients, and 12 491 (28.7%) had underlying medical conditions.
- The most common diagnosed conditions were asthma (4416 [10.2%]), neurodevelopmental disorders (1690 [3.9%]), anxiety and fear-related disorders (1374 [3.2%]), depressive disorders (1209 [2.8%]), and obesity (1071 [2.5%]).
- The strongest risk factors for hospitalization were type 1 diabetes (adjusted risk ratio [aRR], 4.60; 95% CI, 3.91-5.42) and obesity (aRR, 3.07; 95% CI, 2.66-3.54), and the strongest risk factors for severe COVID-19 illness were type 1 diabetes (aRR, 2.38; 95% CI, 2.06-2.76) and cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies (aRR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.48-1.99).
- Prematurity was a risk factor for severe COVID-19 illness among children younger than 2 years (aRR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.47-2.29).
- Chronic and complex chronic disease were risk factors for hospitalization, with aRRs of 2.91 (95% CI, 2.63-3.23) and 7.86 (95% CI, 6.91-8.95), respectively, as well as for severe COVID-19 illness, with aRRs of 1.95 (95% CI, 1.69-2.26) and 2.86 (95% CI, 2.47-3.32), respectively.
Hence, the authors concluded that "there is a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness among children with medical complexity and certain underlying conditions, such as type 1 diabetes, cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies, and obesity. Health care practitioners could consider the potential need for close observation and cautious clinical management of children with these conditions and COVID-19."