Individuals with Down syndrome hospitalized with COVID-19 have more severe disease

Louise Malle, Cynthia Gao, Chin Hur, Han Q. Truong, Nicole M. Bouvier, Bethany Percha, Xiao Fei Kong, Dusan Bogunovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Purpose: Rare genetic conditions like Down syndrome (DS) are historically understudied. Infection is a leading cause of mortality in DS, along with cardiac anomalies. Currently, it is unknown how the COVID-19 pandemic affects individuals with DS. Herein, we report an analysis of individuals with DS who were hospitalized with COVID-19 in New York, New York, USA. Methods: In this retrospective, dual-center study of 7246 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, we analyzed all patients with DS admitted in the Mount Sinai Health System and Columbia University Irving Medical Center. We assessed hospitalization rates, clinical characteristics, and outcomes. Results: We identified 12 patients with DS. Hospitalized individuals with DS are on average ten years younger than patients without DS. Patients with DS have more severe disease than controls, particularly an increased incidence of sepsis and mechanical ventilation. Conclusion: We demonstrate that individuals with DS who are hospitalized with COVID-19 are younger than their non-DS counterparts, and that they have more severe disease than age-matched controls. We conclude that particular care should be considered for both the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-580
Number of pages5
JournalGenetics in Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Down syndrome
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • primary immunodeficiency
  • trisomy 21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)


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