Covid-19 Outcomes in Children With JIA

21 April 2022

Severe COVID-19 Outcomes Rare Among Children and Young People With Rheumatic Diseases.

According to a press release issued by the Children Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA), severe Covid-19 outcomes and hospitalisations are uncommon among children with JIA and other musculoskeletal diseases.

The research used data from the following to identify children with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal diseases (RMD) and confirmed Covid-19:

  • European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR).
  • COVID-19 Registry.
  • The CARRA Registry. 
  • The COVID-19 Global Paediatric Rheumatology database.

The study included 607 children aged 19 and under, 66% of whom were female. Making up the majority of the patients at 62% were children with JIA.

The other patients involved in the study were children with:

  • Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).
  • Mixed connective tissue disorder.
  • Vasculitis.
  • Other inflammatory syndromes.

A breakdown of the study

140 patients (23%) had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic.

The most common symptom was a fever at 39% and a cough at 30%.

A total of 43 patients (7%) went to hospital, 3 of which (0.5%) died.

Patients with a diagnosis of SLE, vasculitis or another RMD were associated with a higher risk of hospitalisation compared to patients with JIA.

Another risk factor discovered in the study was obesity in children.

Conclusive statement from the research:

“While protective measures, as indicated by local policy, are important to follow with respect to [minimizing] risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection, parents and families can be reassured that these data do not support a high probability of severe COVID-19 in the majority of children and young people with underlying RMDs.”

At the time of this study there was no information of the vaccine status of the patients. Due to the progression of the vaccines this may see a different and improved result.


1. Researchers find lower risk of severe COVID-19 infection in most children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. News release. Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA). Updated March 31, 2022. Accessed April 12, 2022.

2. Kearsley-Fleet L, Chang ML, Lawson-Tovey S, et al. Outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection among children and young people with pre-existing rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Ann Rheum Dis. Published online March 25, 2022. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2022-222241