Differences in clinical presentation, severity, and treatment of COVID-19 among individuals with Down syndrome from India and high-income countries: Data from the Trisomy 21 Research Society survey

J Glob Health. 2022 Aug 8:12:05035. doi: 10.7189/jogh.12.05035.


Background: People with Down syndrome (DS) are one of the highest risk groups for mortality associated with COVID-19, but outcomes may differ across countries due to different co-morbidity profiles, exposures, and societal practices, which could have implications for disease management. This study is designed to identify differences in clinical presentation, severity, and treatment of COVID-19 between India and several high-income countries (HICs).

Methods: We used data from an international survey to examine the differences in disease manifestation and management for COVID-19 patients with DS from India vs HIC. De-identified survey data collected from April 2020 to August 2021 were analysed.

Results: COVID-19 patients with DS from India were on average nine years younger than those from HICs. Comorbidities associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19 were more frequent among the patients from India than from HICs. Hospitalizations were more frequent among patients from India as were COVID-19-related medical complications. Treatment strategies differed between India and HICs, with more frequent use of antibiotics in India. The average severity score of 3.31 was recorded for Indian DS in contrast to 2.3 for European and 2.04 for US cases.

Conclusions: Presentation and outcomes of COVID-19 among individuals with DS were more severe for patients from India than for those from HIC. Global efforts should especially target vaccination campaigns and other risk-reducing interventions for individuals with DS from low-income countries.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / therapy
  • Developed Countries
  • Down Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Down Syndrome* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Income
  • India / epidemiology