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Pediatric Hospitalization for COVID-19 Increasing Across States

MONDAY, Jan. 11, 2021 -- There is significant variation across states in the rates of pediatric hospitalization for COVID-19, but the average cumulative hospitalization rate is increasing, according to a research letter published online Jan. 11 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Zachary Levin, from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, and colleagues extracted data from the University of Minnesota COVID-19 Hospitalization Tracking Project for the 22 states that reported cumulative COVID-19 hospitalizations overall and for patients aged 19 years or younger between May 15 and Nov. 15, 2020.

During the study period, there were 301,102 COVID-19 hospitalizations and 5,346 pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations in 22 states. The researchers found that the average cumulative hospitalization rate per 100,000 children was 2.0 at the beginning of the study and increased to 17.2 by the end of the study. Large variations were seen across states at the beginning and end of the study and in the extent of the change in rates. Between states, there was also significant variation in the magnitude of change from the beginning to the end of the study period; several states experienced significant growth in three months, with Utah experiencing a 5,067 percent increase and New Hampshire experiencing a 42 percent increase.

"Our results present concerning trends in pediatric hospitalizations," the authors write. "Adult, and especially geriatric, incidence of COVID-19 continues to dominate the national picture, but pediatric populations may require resources that are not readily available across the country."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the health care industry.

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Posted: January 2021

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