Multiple recurring C. diff infections jump 189% from 2001 to 2012, study shows

Multiple recurring Clostridium difficile infections increased exponentially in the 11-year period from 2001 to 2012, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Philadelphia-based Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania researchers conducted an analysis of a nationwide commercial health insurance database. The database included records of more than 40 million patients enrolled in private health plans.

Researchers considered C. diff infections as "multiple recurrent" when physicians treated the patients with three courses of antibiotics, with little time between each course.

The study shows the incidence of multiple recurring C. diff infections increased by 189 percent over the study period, whereas the incidence of C. diff infections rose by about 43 percent.

The patient characteristics for multiple recurring C. diff infections include:

●    Being older
●    Being female
●    Having been exposed to medications such as corticosteroids, proton-pump inhibitors and antibiotics before contracting C. diff

The study authors noted the findings indicate multiple recurring C. diff infections place an increased burden on the healthcare system.

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