Clinical characteristics of children and young people hospitalised with covid-19 in the United Kingdom: prospective multicentre observational cohort study
Olivia V Swann,
Karl A Holden,
Cameron J Fairfield,
Thomas M Drake,
Hayley E Hardwick,
Piero Luigi Olliaro,
Jonathan S Nguyen-Van-Tam,
Peter JM Openshaw,
John Kenneth Baillie,
Ewen M Harrison,
Annemarie B Docherty,
ISARIC Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium (ISARIC4C) Investigators
Posted 17 Jul 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.14.20153320
Posted 17 Jul 2020
Objective To characterise the clinical features of children and young people admitted to hospital with laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in the UK, and explore factors associated with admission to critical care, mortality, and development of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children and adolescents temporarily related to covid-19 (MIS-C). Design Prospective observational cohort study with rapid data gathering and near real time analysis. Setting 260 acute care hospitals in England, Wales, and Scotland between 17th January and 5th June 2020, with a minimal follow-up time of two weeks (to 19th June 2020). Participants 451 children and young people aged less than 19 years admitted to 116 hospitals and enrolled into the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emergency Infections Consortium (ISARIC) WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK study with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2. Main Outcome Measures Admission to critical care (high dependency or intensive care), in-hospital mortality, or meeting the WHO preliminary case definition for MIS-C. Results Median age was 3.9 years [interquartile range (IQR) 0.3-12.9 years], 36% (162/451) were under 12 months old, and 57% (256/450) were male. 56% (224/401) were White, 12% (49/401) South Asian and 10% (40/401) Black. 43% (195/451) had at least one recorded comorbidity. A muco-enteric cluster of symptoms was identified, closely mirroring the WHO MIS-C criteria. 17% of children (72/431) were admitted to critical care. On multivariable analysis this was associated with age under one month odds ratio 5.05 (95% confidence interval 1.69 to 15.72, p=0.004), age 10 to 14 years OR 3.11 (1.21 to 8.55, p=0.022) and Black ethnicity OR 3.02 (1.30 to 6.84, p=0.008). Three young people died (0.7 %, 3/451) aged 16 to 19 years, all of whom had profound comorbidity. Twelve percent of children (36/303) met the WHO MIS-C criteria, with the first patient developing symptoms in mid-March. Those meeting MIS-C criteria were older, (median age 10.8 years ([IQR 8.4-14.1] vs 2.0 [0.2-12.6]), p<0.001) and more likely to be of non-White ethnicity (70% (23/33) vs 43% (101/237), p=0.005). Children with MIS-C were four times more likely to be admitted to critical care (61% (22/36) vs 15% (40/267, p<0.001). In addition to the WHO criteria, children with MIS-C were more likely to present with headache (45% (13/29) vs 11% (19/171), p<0.001), myalgia (39% (11/28) vs 7% (12/170), p<0.001), sore throat (37% (10/27) vs (13% (24/183, p = 0.004) and fatigue (57% (17/30) vs 31% (60/192), p =0.012) than children who did not and to have a platelet count of less than 150 x109/L (30% (10/33) vs 10% (24/232), p=0.004). Conclusions Our data confirms less severe covid-19 in children and young people than in adults and we provide additional evidence for refining the MIS-C case definition. The identification of a muco-enteric symptom cluster also raises the suggestion that MIS-C is the severe end of a spectrum of disease. Study registration ISRCTN66726260
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