Burden of C. difficile Infection Has Grown beyond the Acute Care Setting

March 4, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Health System


In 2011, there were approximately 453,000 Clostridium difficile infections in the United States that were associated with roughly 29,000 deaths, reports a study published in the February 26, 2015, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers performed active population- and laboratory-based surveillance across 10 geographic areas in the United States to identify cases of C. difficile infection, classified each as community-associated or healthcare-associated, and then used regression modeling to calculate estimates of national incidence, first recurrences, and deaths within 30 days of diagnosis. In total, 15,461 cases of C. difficile infection were identified in the 10 geographic areas. Of the 65.8% determined to be healthcare-associated, only 24.2% had onset during hospitalization. The data also indicated that estimated incidence was higher among females, whites, and persons 65 years of age or older.

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