Pre-COVID-19 pandemic health-related behaviours in children (2018–2020) and association with being tested for SARS-CoV-2 and testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 (2020–2021): a retrospective cohort study using survey data linked with routine health data in Wales, UK
Emily Marchant, Emily Lowthian, Tom Crick, Lucy J Griffiths, Richard Fry, Kevin Dadaczynski, Orkan Okan, Michaela James, Laura Cowley, Fatemeh Torabi, Jonathan Kennedy, Ashley Akbari
ObjectivesExamine if pre-COVID-19 pandemic (prior March 2020) health-related behaviours during primary school are associated with (1) being tested for SARS-CoV-2 and (2) testing positive between 1 March 2020 and 31 August 2021.DesignRetrospective cohort study using an online cohort survey (January 2018 to February 2020) linked with routine PCR SARS-CoV-2 test results.SettingChildren attending primary schools in Wales (2018–2020), UK, who were part of the Health and Attainment of Pupils in a
... ary Education Network (HAPPEN)_school network.ParticipantsComplete linked records of eligible participants were obtained for n=7062 individuals. 39.1% (n=2764) were tested (age 10.6±0.9; 48.9% girls) and 8.1% (n=569) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (age 10.6±1.0; 54.5% girls).Main outcome measuresLogistic regression of health-related behaviours and demographics were used to determine the ORs of factors associated with (1) being tested for SARS-CoV-2 and (2) testing positive for SARS-CoV-2.ResultsConsuming sugary snacks (1–2 days/week OR=1.24, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.49; 5–6 days/week OR=1.31, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.61; reference 0 days), can swim 25 m (OR=1.21, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.39) and age (OR=1.25, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.35) were associated with an increased likelihood of being tested for SARS-CoV-2. Eating breakfast (OR=1.52, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.27), weekly physical activity ≥60 min (1–2 days OR=1.69, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.74; 3–4 days OR=1.76, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.82; reference 0 days), out-of-school club participation (OR=1.06, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.10), can ride a bike (OR=1.39, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.93), age (OR=1.16, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.28) and girls (OR=1.21, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.46) were associated with an increased likelihood of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Living in least deprived areas (quintile 4 OR=0.64, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.90; quintile 5 OR=0.64, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.89) compared with the most deprived (quintile 1) was associated with a decreased likelihood.ConclusionsAssociations may be related to parental health literacy and monitoring behaviours. Physically active behaviours may include coparticipation with others and exposure to SARS-CoV-2. A risk-versus-benefit approach must be considered in relation to promoting these health behaviours, given the importance of health-related behaviours such as childhood physical activity for development.