Sharing a household with children and risk of COVID-19: a study of over 300 000 adults living in healthcare worker households in Scotland

Wood, R. et al. (2021) Sharing a household with children and risk of COVID-19: a study of over 300 000 adults living in healthcare worker households in Scotland. Archives of Disease in Childhood, (doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2021-321604) (PMID:33737319) (PMCID:PMC7985971) (Early Online Publication)

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Objective: Children are relatively protected from COVID-19, due to a range of potential mechanisms. We investigated if contact with children also affords adults a degree of protection from COVID-19. Design: Cohort study based on linked administrative data. Setting: Scotland. Study population: All National Health Service Scotland healthcare workers and their household contacts as of March 2020. Main exposure: Number of young children (0–11 years) living in the participant’s household. Main outcomes: COVID-19 requiring hospitalisation, and any COVID-19 (any positive test for SARS-CoV-2) in adults aged ≥18 years between 1 March and 12 October 2020. Results: 241 266, 41 198, 23 783 and 3850 adults shared a household with 0, 1, 2 and 3 or more young children, respectively. Over the study period, the risk of COVID-19 requiring hospitalisation was reduced progressively with increasing numbers of household children—fully adjusted HR (aHR) 0.93 per child (95% CI 0.79 to 1.10). The risk of any COVID-19 was similarly reduced, with the association being statistically significant (aHR per child 0.93; 95% CI 0.88 to 0.98). After schools reopened to all children in August 2020, no association was seen between exposure to young children and risk of any COVID-19 (aHR per child 1.03; 95% CI 0.92 to 1.14). Conclusion: Between March and October 2020, living with young children was associated with an attenuated risk of any COVID-19 and COVID-19 requiring hospitalisation among adults living in healthcare worker households. There was no evidence that living with young children increased adults’ risk of COVID-19, including during the period after schools reopened.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McAllister, Professor David and Thomson, Professor Emma
Authors: Wood, R., Thomson, E. C., Galbraith, R., Gribben, C., Caldwell, D., Bishop, J., Reid, M., Shah, A. S.V., Templeton, K., Goldberg, D., Robertson, C., Hutchinson, S. J., Colhoun, H. M., McKeigue, P., and McAllister, D. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Archives of Disease in Childhood
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):1468-2044
Published Online:18 March 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Archives of Disease in Childhood 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173492Combining efficacy estimates from clinical trials with the natural history obtained from large routine healthcare databases to determine net overall treatment benefitsDavid McAllisterWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)201492/Z/16/ZInstitute of Health & Wellbeing