Household factors and the risk of severe COVID-like illness early in the US pandemic

medRxiv. 2020 Dec 4;2020.12.03.20243683. doi: 10.1101/2020.12.03.20243683. Preprint


Objective: To investigate the role of children in the home and household crowding as risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease.

Methods: We used interview data from 6,831 U.S. adults screened for the Communities, Households and SARS/CoV-2 Epidemiology (CHASING) COVID Cohort Study in April 2020.

Results: In logistic regression models, the adjusted odds ratio [aOR] of hospitalization due to COVID-19 for having (versus not having) children in the home was 10.5 (95% CI:5.7-19.1) among study participants living in multi-unit dwellings and 2.2 (95% CI:1.2-6.5) among those living in single unit dwellings. Among participants living in multi-unit dwellings, the aOR for COVID-19 hospitalization among participants with more than 4 persons in their household (versus 1 person) was 2.5 (95% CI:1.0-6.1), and 0.8 (95% CI:0.15-4.1) among those living in single unit dwellings.

Conclusion: Early in the US SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, certain household exposures likely increased the risk of both SARS-CoV-2 acquisition and the risk of severe COVID-19 disease.

Publication types

  • Preprint