HealthDay News — COVID-19 was a leading cause of death among U.S. children and young persons (CYP) aged 0 to 19 years, according to a study published online Jan. 30 in JAMA Network Open.
Seth Flaxman, Ph.D., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a national population-level cross-sectional study for 2019 to 2022 using data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research database to examine the ranking of COVID-19 relative to other causes of death among individuals aged 0 to 19 years.
The researchers identified 821 COVID-19 deaths among those aged 0 to 19 years during the study period, for a crude death rate of 1.0 per 100,000 population overall and 4.3, 0.6, 0.4, 0.5, and 1.8 per 100,000 for those aged younger than 1, 1 to 4, 5 to 9, 10 to 14, and 15 to 19 years, respectively. In the time period of Aug. 1, 2021, to July 31, 2022, COVID-19 mortality was among the 10 leading causes of death in CYP aged 0 to 19 years, ranking eighth among all causes of death, fifth in disease-related causes of death, and first in deaths caused by respiratory or infectious diseases relative to 2019. Of all deaths in this age group, COVID-19 deaths constituted 2 percent.
“Our findings underscore the public health relevance of COVID-19 to CYP. In the likely future context of sustained SARS-CoV-2 circulation, appropriate pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical interventions (e.g., vaccines, ventilation, air cleaning) will continue to play an important role in limiting transmission of the virus and mitigating severe disease in CYP,” the authors write.
One author disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.