Admissions to US Hospitals Decreased in 2020 Across an Array of Pediatric Conditions, Including Asthma

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network – Open looked at over 5 million admissions at 49 hospitals in the Pediatric Health Information Systems database, comparing 2020 data to prior years. They found a significant reduction (up to 45.4%) in admissions across numerous health issues. The following graph shows pediatric hospital admissions for asthma, by month. The gray, blue, and black lines show data from 2010-2019 and the red line shows data from the first half of 2020.

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With regard to asthma, the authors note an overall reduction in respiratory infections, suggesting that human behavior (social distancing and masking) can reduce hospital admissions. They suggest that it could also be due to unmet care needs, noting “One inpatient survey suggested that greater than one-third of parents delayed seeking medical care for their child because of fears surrounding COVID-19.”