Adults and children with obesity are known to be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Now, researchers at Einstein and the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) led by Jerry Chao, M.D., M.S., and senior author Michael Cabana, M.D., M.P.H., have found that children and adolescents with obesity or diabetes and who become infected with SARS-CoV-2 face a higher risk being hospitalized for COVID-19 compared with infected people without those conditions. The findings were published on November 18 in Clinical Pediatrics.
Building on research conducted early in the pandemic, the Einstein-CHAM investigators reviewed the medical records of 319 patients, ranging from newborns to age 21 years, who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection; approximately one fourth of them were hospitalized for COVID-19. Comparing the hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients, researchers found that those with obesity and diabetes were more likely to require inpatient care. The authors conclude that targeted, proactive health outreach to children with obesity and diabetes, with prioritization of preventative efforts such as vaccination, may be important in preventing severe disease in this vulnerable group.
Dr. Cabana is the Michael I. Cohen University Chair of Pediatrics at Einstein and CHAM. Dr. Chao is associate professor of anesthesiology at Einstein and a pediatric anesthesiologist at CHAM.
Posted on: Tuesday, December 07, 2021