Prior laxative use common among patients tested for C. diff is

A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control examined the prevalence of prior laxative use among hospitalized adults undergoing Clostridium difficile testing.

Researchers conducted a case-control study of 5,452 C. diff tests from five hospitals in Southeast Michigan. They identified patients who received laxatives in the 24 or 48 hours before testing.

Researchers found that 9.8 percent of patients received laxatives in the 24 hours and 13 percent received laxatives in the 48 hours before testing. The likelihood of receiving laxatives before C. diff was significantly greater for:

• Patients receiving a surgical service rather than a medical service
• Patients residing in an intensive care unit rather than a non-ICU
• Patients whose Elixhauser Comorbidity Score was four or higher

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