A study of 223 patients younger than 20 years hospitalized with the rare but serious COVID-19–related multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) in New York City found that black children were disproportionately affected. The population-based cohort study, published as a research letter today in JAMA Network Open, involved analysis of the medical records and lab data of all pediatric MIS-C patients reported to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene from Mar 1 to Jun 30. MIS-C is believed to be an abnormal immune response to the novel coronavirus, similar to but distinct from Kawasaki disease. Although the syndrome was thought to affect only children, a recent study identified it in adults as well. Overall, the incidence of MIS-C was 0.01%. While black children make up 22.2% of New York City’s population and 19.9% of pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations, they constituted 34.4% of MIS-C cases. Hispanic children made up 29.8% of the cases, similar to their proportion of the city’s population (35.6%), although they accounted for 40% of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

 

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