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Montefiore in the News

December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021 | By SÍLE MOLONEY

Researchers at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) and Albert Einstein College of Medicine have released a new study which highlights that children with obesity or diabetes who contract SARS-CoV-2 infection are at a higher risk of being hospitalized than children who are not obese, or do not have diabetes. They say this is particularly concerning since reports have shown that rates of obesity and diabetes have increased among children during the pandemic.

Building on research conducted early in the pandemic, CHAM investigators analyzed 319 patients from 0 to 21 years of age with SARS-CoV-2 infection, of whom approximately one quarter were hospitalized due to COVID-19 infection. Comparing the hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients, researchers found that those with obesity and diabetes were more likely to require inpatient care.

Jerry Y. Chao, M.D., M.Sc., pediatric anesthesiologist, CHAM, and associate professor of Anesthesiology, Einstein is the lead author of the study. “Since we conducted our study, a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved to help protect children against the disease and prevent hospitalization,” Chao said. “We encourage caregivers of all children, but especially vulnerable children such as those with obesity and those who have diabetes, to get vaccinated, and protected, against COVID-19.”

A July 2021 report by New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) based on data from 2019 shows that the Bronx Neighborhoods of Kingsbridge, Fordham, Pelham-Throggs Neck and the South Bronx are among the City neighborhoods with the highest rates of diabetes in adults over 18.  Source: NYC DOHMH

As previously reported, every year since 2009, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Ranking Report has ranked the Bronx as number 62 out of New York State’s 62 counties in terms of health outcomes, a point highlighted during the July 2020 virtual “Discussion of Health Disparities and COVID-19,” moderated by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., as reported.

According to a July 2021 report by NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, based on 2019 data, several, high-poverty, Bronx neighborhoods are among those across the City that, persistently have high rates of diabetes in adults over 18.