Long-Lasting COVID Symptoms Prevalent in Children

Children and adolescents with COVID had extra prevalent long-lasting signs than these by no means contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, the Long COVID Kids DK research confirmed.

In all ages group, beforehand contaminated youngsters in Denmark had increased odds of experiencing not less than one symptom lasting greater than 2 months than their uninfected friends, reported Selina Kikkenborg Berg, PhD, of Copenhagen University Hospital, and co-authors.

Among youngsters 3 and youthful, 40% who had COVID had persistent signs in contrast with 27.2% of controls (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.55-2.04), Berg and colleagues wrote in Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

In youngsters 4-11 years outdated, 38.1% with COVID and 33.7% with out COVID had long-lasting signs (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.15-1.31). Persistent signs additionally have been reported in 46% of adolescents ages 12-14 with COVID and 41.3% with out COVID (OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.11-1.32, P<0.0001 for all).

“Our results reveal that, although children with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis are more likely to experience long-lasting symptoms than children with no previous COVID-19 diagnosis, the pandemic has affected every aspect of all young people’s lives,” Berg stated in an announcement.

The research concerned surveys of moms or guardians of 10,997 youngsters who had examined constructive for SARS-CoV-2 an infection between January 2020 and July 2021 in Denmark and 33,016 youngsters who weren’t contaminated, matched 1:4 by age and intercourse.

The survey included assessments of pediatric high quality of life and data from the Children’s Somatic Symptoms Inventory-24 to judge general well being, plus questions on 23 of the most typical lengthy COVID signs. The researchers used the World Health Organization’s definition of lengthy COVID — persistent signs lasting greater than 2 months with out an alternate diagnostic rationalization — of their evaluation.

The mostly reported signs in youngsters age 3 and youthful have been temper swings, rashes, and abdomen aches. Mood swings, hassle remembering or concentrating, and rashes have been most typical in 4-11 year-olds; fatigue, temper swings, and hassle remembering or concentrating have been most typical in these 12-14.

Differences in somatic symptom stock scores weren’t clinically related, Berg and colleagues reported. But, in some age teams, youngsters who had COVID had higher quality-of-life scores than these not contaminated, they famous.

Median pediatric quality-of-life emotional functioning scores have been 80 for circumstances and 75 for controls amongst youngsters ages 4-11, and 90 for circumstances and 85 for controls amongst these 12-14 (P<0.0001 for each).

Quality-of-life social functioning scores additionally have been increased for COVID circumstances than controls amongst these 12-14 (100 vs 95, P<0.0001).

These findings could also be as a result of controls “experienced fear of the unknown disease and had a more restricted everyday life because of protecting themselves from catching the virus,” Berg and co-authors noticed. “Pandemic symptoms in children have been suggested and might be caused by poor thriving from lockdown and social restrictions.”

How to interpret this information is difficult, famous Maren Johanne Heilskov Rytter, PhD, of University of Copenhagen, in an accompanying editorial.

Not solely have been response charges within the survey low for each circumstances (27%) and controls (22%), the variations between symptom charges within the two teams have been slight and “probably of limited clinical significance,” Rytter wrote.

Research into COVID-19 “is like trying to hit a moving target,” she identified, noting this research already is “somewhat historical” as a result of circumstances have been contaminated with a distinct pressure of SARS-CoV2, not the dominant variant right this moment.

“More recent strains also appear to cause less severe symptoms,” Rytter added. “For most children with non-specific symptoms following COVID-19, the symptoms are more likely to be caused by something other than COVID-19 and if they are related to COVID-19, they are likely to pass with time,” she wrote.

Berg known as for additional analysis into the long-term penalties of the pandemic in all youngsters, not simply these contaminated, earlier than a window of alternative closes. Over half of kids in Denmark already had lab-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 an infection as of February 2022, narrowing the flexibility to isolate the long-term impact after acute an infection on this inhabitants.

“The window for investigating long COVID is closing up,” Berg wrote in an e-mail. “In my opinion, we desperately need clinical studies examining these children suffering from long-lasting symptoms who need symptom relief.”

A reliance on parental proxy could have skewed survey outcomes, resulting in choice bias and an overrepresentation of affected youngsters, Berg and colleagues acknowledged. Given a scarcity of public testing for COVID-19 earlier than August 2020, some youngsters with undetected asymptomatic infections may not have been included within the research.

“Because long COVID symptoms are the same as some ailments that are common in children, possible differences between groups could be masked by competing diseases and vaccine side-effects,” the researchers famous.

Disclosures

This research was funded by the AP Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation.

Berg declared no competing pursuits. One researcher reported relationships with the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, and MSD; all different authors declared no competing pursuits.

Rytter declared no competing pursuits.

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