Baseline characteristics, management, and outcomes of 55,270 children and adolescents diagnosed with COVID-19 and 1,952,693 with influenza in France, Germany, Spain, South Korea and the United States: an international network cohort study
Anthony G. Sena,
Lana Yin Hui Lai,
Thamir M Alshammari,
Seng Chan You,
Eng Hooi Tan,
Daniel R. Morales,
Jose D. Posada,
Lisa M Schilling,
Marc A. Suchard,
Andrew E Williams,
Christian G. Reich,
George M Hripcsak,
Posted 30 Oct 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.29.20222083
Posted 30 Oct 2020
ObjectivesTo characterize the demographics, comorbidities, symptoms, in-hospital treatments, and health outcomes among children/adolescents diagnosed or hospitalized with COVID-19. Secondly, to describe health outcomes amongst children/adolescents diagnosed with previous seasonal influenza. DesignInternational network cohort. SettingReal-world data from European primary care records (France/Germany/Spain), South Korean claims and US claims and hospital databases. ParticipantsDiagnosed and/or hospitalized children/adolescents with COVID-19 at age <18 between January and June 2020; diagnosed with influenza in 2017-2018. Main outcome measuresBaseline demographics and comorbidities, symptoms, 30-day in-hospital treatments and outcomes including hospitalization, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), and death. ResultsA total of 55,270 children/adolescents diagnosed and 3,693 hospitalized with COVID-19 and 1,952,693 diagnosed with influenza were studied. Comorbidities including neurodevelopmental disorders, heart disease, and cancer were all more common among those hospitalized vs diagnosed with COVID-19. The most common COVID-19 symptom was fever. Dyspnea, bronchiolitis, anosmia and gastrointestinal symptoms were more common in COVID-19 than influenza. In-hospital treatments for COVID-19 included repurposed medications (<10%), and adjunctive therapies: systemic corticosteroids (6.8% to 37.6%), famotidine (9.0% to 28.1%), and antithrombotics such as aspirin (2.0% to 21.4%), heparin (2.2% to 18.1%), and enoxaparin (2.8% to 14.8%). Hospitalization was observed in 0.3% to 1.3% of the COVID-19 diagnosed cohort, with undetectable (N<5 per database) 30-day fatality. Thirty-day outcomes including pneumonia, ARDS, and MIS-C were more frequent in COVID-19 than influenza. ConclusionsDespite negligible fatality, complications including pneumonia, ARDS and MIS-C were more frequent in children/adolescents with COVID-19 than with influenza. Dyspnea, anosmia and gastrointestinal symptoms could help differential diagnosis. A wide range of medications were used for the inpatient management of pediatric COVID-19. What is already known on this topic?O_LIMost of the early COVID-19 studies were targeted at adult patients, and data concerning children and adolescents are limited. C_LIO_LIClinical manifestations of COVID-19 are generally milder in the pediatric population compared with adults. C_LIO_LIHospitalization for COVID-19 affects mostly infants, toddlers, and children with pre-existing comorbidities. C_LI What this study adds This study comprehensively characterizes a large international cohort of pediatric COVID-19 patients, and almost 2 million with previous seasonal influenza across 5 countries. Although uncommon, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) were more frequent in children and adolescents diagnosed with COVID-19 than in those with seasonal influenza. Dyspnea, bronchiolitis, anosmia and gastrointestinal symptoms were more frequent in COVID-19, and could help to differentiate pediatric COVID-19 from influenza. A plethora of medications were used during the management of COVID-19 in children and adolescents, with great heterogeneity in the use of antiviral therapies as well as of adjunctive therapies.
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