Leukemia patients at high risk for C. diff infections, study finds

Hospitalized leukemia patients have more than twice the risk of developing a Clostridium difficile infection than non-leukemia patients in the hospital, according to a study in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

When leukemia patients do get a C. diff infection, it is associated with increased mortality, longer length of stay and higher hospital charges.

Researchers extracted adults with a primary diagnosis of leukemia from the United States Nationwide Inpatient Sample database from 2005 to 2011, looking for C. diff infection occurrence, CDI-associated mortality, and length of stay. They also looked for risk factors for CDI among hospitalized leukemia patients.

They found the following eight factors were significantly associated with CDI occurrence in leukemia patients:

1. Age of over 65 years old

2. Male gender

3. Prolonged length of stay

4. Admission to a teaching hospital

5. Sepsis

6. Neutropenia

7. Renal failure

8. Bone marrow or stem cell transplantation

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