Study: Obesity Linked to C. diff Infection Risk

Being obese may increase the risk of developing a Clostridium difficile infection, according to research published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Researchers identified 137 cases of the infection between November 2011 and April 2012 at Boston Medical Center, a regional safety net hospital. Patients with C. diff were classified as having either community-onset or hospital-acquired infections.

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Within the community-onset group, obese patients accounted for 34 percent of C. diff cases, statistically higher than the Massachusetts state obesity average, which is 23 percent.

Those with community-onset C. diff after exposure to a healthcare setting had higher rates of irritable bowl syndrome and lower rates of prior exposure to antibiotics than patients with hospital-acquired C. diff, suggesting obesity is independently associated with the development of C. diff.

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