TUESDAY, Aug. 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Neurologic complications are common in children hospitalized with COVID-19, and are associated with worse hospital outcomes, according to a study published online Aug. 11 in Pediatrics.

James W. Antoon, M.D., Ph.D., from Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues examined data from 15,137 children (aged 2 months to <18 years) with COVID-19 discharged from 52 children’s hospitals (March 2020 to March 2022) to understand neurological complications.

The researchers found that 7.0 percent of children had a concurrent diagnosis of a neurologic complication, including most frequently febrile seizures (3.9 percent), nonfebrile seizures (2.3 percent), and encephalopathy (2.2 percent). For children with neurologic complications, hospital length of stay, intensive care unit admission, intensive care unit length of stay, 30-day readmissions, deaths, and hospital costs were higher. Odds of neurologic complications were lower with younger age, occurrence during the delta variant-predominant time period, and presence of a non-neurologic complex chronic condition. Odds were higher with the presence of a neurologic complex chronic condition.

“Our findings emphasize the importance of COVID-19 immunization in children, especially in high-risk populations, such as those with neurologic comorbidity,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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