Clinical profiles associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and complications from coronavirus disease-2019 in children from a national registry in Saudi Arabia
Yasir Almuzaini1, Fahad Alsohime2, Sarah Al Subaie2, Mohamad Hani Temsah2, Yousef Alsofayan1, Fahad Alamri1, Ahmed Alahmari1, Hadil Alahdal3, Hana Sonbol3, Rana Almaghrabi4, Mahmoud Nahhas5, Anas Khan6
1 Global Center for Mass Gatherings Medicine, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 College of Medicine, King Saud University; Department of Pediatric, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Pediatric, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
5 School Health Affairs, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
6 Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Fahad Alsohime
Department of Pediatric (39), College of Medicine, King Saud University, King Saud University Medical City, P.O. Box: 2925, Riyadh 11461
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
CONTEXT: Exploring clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) in children may help in prevention and treatment guidelines.
AIMS: The aim of the to describe the spectrum of pediatric COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia.
SETTINGS And DESIGN: A multicenter, retrospective, cross-sectional study involving pediatric COVID-19 patients across all Saudi regions.
METHODS: All patients aged between 2 months and 18 years with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 were included. The primary end point was the hospitalization.
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS USED: Descriptive statistics were used to describe the baseline demographic data and clinical characteristics. Numerical data were explored using Kolmogorov–Smirnov test and Shapiro–Wilk test, while Chi-square or Fisher's exact test were used for categorical data.
RESULTS: Among the 654 pediatric COVID-19 patients, 4.7% (n = 31) were hospitalized, with one patient only needing pediatric intensive care admission. Sex, breastfeeding, birth status, and the patients' living environment showed no significant association with hospitalization. Most children (80.3%, n = 525) were symptomatic, with two symptoms that were significantly associated with admission, namely, vomiting (P = 0.007) and nausea (P = 0.026). History of admission within the last year was identified in 10.4% (n = 68) children but had no association with worse outcome. The median duration of hospitalization for the entire group was 5.5 days, with longest hospital stay for age group 7–12 years (median 6 days).
CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 is usually a milder disease in children. Although having preexisting medical conditions was linked to a longer hospitalization, it was not associated with worse outcome. Continuous surveillance will allow additional characterization of the burden and outcomes of pediatric COVID-19-associated hospitalizations.