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Preprint | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20225359


BackgroundHealth conditions and immune dysfunction associated with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome, DS) may impact the clinical course of COVID-19 once infected by SARS-CoV-2. MethodsThe T21RS COVID-19 Initiative launched an international survey for clinicians or caregivers/family members on patients with COVID-19 and DS (N=1046). De-identified survey data collected between April and October 2020 were analysed and compared with the UK ISARIC4C survey of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with and without DS. COVID-19 patients with DS from the ISARIC4C survey (ISARIC4C DS cases=100) were matched to a random set of patients without DS (ISARIC4C controls=400) and hospitalized DS cases in the T21RS survey (T21RS DS cases=100) based on age, gender, and ethnicity. FindingThe mean age in the T21RS survey was 29 years (SD=18), 73% lived with their family. Similar to the general population, the most frequent signs and symptoms of COVID-19 were fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Pain and nausea were reported less frequently (p<0.01), whereas altered consciousness/confusion were reported more frequently (p<0.01). Risk factors for hospitalization and mortality were similar to the general population (age, male gender, diabetes, obesity, dementia) with the addition of congenital heart defects as a risk factor for hospitalization. Mortality rates showed a rapid increase from age 40 and were higher than for controls (T21RS DS versus controls: risk ratio (RR)=3.5 (95%-CI=2.6;4.4), ISARIC4C DS versus controls: RR=2.9 (95%-CI=2.1;3.8)) even after adjusting for known risk factors for COVID-19 mortality. InterpretationLeading signs/symptoms of COVID-19 and risk factors for severe disease course are similar to the general population. However, individuals with DS present significantly higher rates of mortality, especially from age 40. FundingDown Syndrome Affiliates in Action, Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group-USA, GiGis Playhouse, Jerome Lejeune Foundation, LuMind IDSC Foundation, Matthews Foundation, National Down Syndrome Society, National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices.