ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0084.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: long COVID; Post COVID-19 condition; sleep disorders, SARS-CoV-2; Coronavirus; children
Online: 6 September 2022 (10:01:25 CEST)
Acute SARS-CoV-2 infections in children and adolescents are usually mild. However, they can suffer from ongoing symptoms generally referred as long COVID. Sleep disorders are one of the most frequent complaints in long COVID although precise data are missing. We assessed the sleep behavior of children and adolescents who presented at our outpatient clinic between January 2021 and May 2022 with the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ-DE). We compared sleep behavior at three different time points: pre-COVID-19, post-COVID-19 at initial presentation and post-COVID-19 at re-presentation. Data from 45 patients were analyzed. Of those, 64% were female and the median age was 10 years (range 0-18 years). Asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 disease was experienced in 89% of patients, whilst 11% experienced moderate disease. Initial presentation occurred at a median of 20.4 weeks (6 weeks - 14 months) after infection. The CSHQ-DE score increased significantly from pre-COVID-19 (45.82+8.7 points) to post-COVID-19 (49.40+8.3 points; p=<0.01). The score then normalized at re-presentation (46.98+7.8; p=0.1). The greatest changes were seen in the CSHQ-DE subscale score "daytime sleepiness". Our data show that children and adolescents with long COVID often suffer from sleep disturbance. For most children and adolescents these sleep disorders decreased over time without further medical intervention, aside from a basic sleep consultation.