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Effect of Living With Children on COVID-19 Risk Explored in U.K.

For adults living with versus without children, risk for infection no higher during wave 1, but higher during wave 2, of the pandemic

MONDAY, March 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For adults aged 65 years and younger living with children, there was no evidence of an increased risk for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection or COVID-19-related hospitalization during wave 1, but there was during wave 2, according to a study published online March 18 in The BMJ.

Harriet Forbes, Ph.D., from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and colleagues examined whether the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and outcomes of COVID-19 differed for adults living with and without children. Data were included for 9,334,392 adults aged 65 years and younger during waves 1 (Feb. 1 to Aug. 31, 2020) and 2 (Sept. 1 to Dec. 18, 2020).

The researchers found that living with children did not materially increase risks for SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19-related hospital or intensive care unit admission, or death from COVID-19 during wave 1. Living with children of any age was associated with an elevated risk for recorded SARS-CoV-2 infection (hazard ratios, 1.06 and 1.22 for living with children aged 0 to 11 and aged 12 to 18 years, respectively) and with COVID-19-related hospital admission (corresponding hazard ratios, 1.18 and 1.26) during wave 2. In both waves, living with children aged 0 to 11 years was associated with a reduced risk for death from COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 causes.

“These increased risks during wave 2 were observed at a time when schools remained open, raising the possibility that widespread school attendance may have led to increased risks to households,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to GlaxoSmithKline.

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