8 risk factors tied to severe COVID-19, MIS-C in kids

Researchers have linked certain risk factors to severe COVID-19 for kids, along with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, according to a study published Feb. 8 by JAMA Network Open.

Researchers at Denver-based University of Colorado led a study involving patients 18 years and younger tested for COVID-19 at 56 U.S. National COVID Cohort Collaborative facilities up to Sept. 24, before the emergence of the omicron coronavirus variant.

Factors tied to increased odds of severe COVID-19

Among 10,245 hospitalized children, 1,423 (13.9 percent) met the criteria for severe disease. Almost 8 percent required mechanical ventilation, 8.5 percent received vasopressor-inotropic support to treat low blood pressure, 0.4 percent needed extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and 1.3 percent died.

Severe COVID-19 disease was associated with male sex, obesity and some pediatric complex chronic condition subcategories.  

Factors tied to increased odds of MIS-C

MIS-C is a rare but serious hyperinflammatory complication of COVID-19. The 707 children diagnosed with MIS-C had a more inflammatory laboratory profile and severe clinical phenotype than those with acute illness, with higher rates of invasive ventilation and need for vasoactive-inotropic cardiac support.

Risk factors included male sex, Black race, younger than 12 years, obesity and not having a pediatric complex chronic condition.

Delta variant

Researchers didn't identify a significant change in pediatric virus hospitalization rate before and after the emergence of the delta coronavirus variant, but the odds of severe disease were lower in the delta era than previous eras.

"Further work is needed to translate this knowledge into improved outcomes," the researchers concluded.


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