BMI of 35 or higher linked to severe C. diff: 4 key insights

A study, published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, identified an association between body mass index and severity of Clostridium difficile infection.

Researchers examined patients admitted with C. diff at a tertiary care center from January 2013 to June 2015. The cohort was stratified by onset of disease using the National Healthcare Safety Network criteria and by severity using the 2013 American College of Gastroenterology guidelines. Of the 196 patients who met the inclusion criteria, 112 patients met the criteria for severe disease.

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Here are four insights:

1. Overall, patients with a body mass index of greater than 35 kg/m2 were 1.7-fold more likely to be associated with severe C. diff compared to those with a BMI of 20 to 35 kg/m2.   

2. BMI of greater than 35 kg/m2 was also found to be an independent predictor of severe C. diff.

3. In patients with community-onset C. diff, a BMI of greater than 35 kg/m2 was associated with a 1.96-fold increase in risk of severe C. diff compared to those with a BMI of 20 to 35 kg/m2.

4. In patients with hospital-onset C. diff, a BMI of greater than 35 kg/m2 was associated with a 1.48 greater rate of severe C. diff compared to those with lower BMIs.

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