HealthDay News — Clostridium difficile infections have been most prevalent in the Northeast during the past decade, study findings published in the American Journal of Infection Control suggest.
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections cause more health care-related infections in U.S. hospitals than any other, according to the CDC.
To indentify national regional and seasonal variations of C.difficile infection incidence and mortality among hospitalized patients in the United States over a 10-year period, Jacqueline R. Argamany, a PharmD candidate at the University of Texas in Austin, and colleagues, used data from more than two million cases of C. difficile infection.
C. difficile costs as much as $4.8 billion in estimated extra health care costs per year, according to CDC estimates. Roughly half a million infections occurred in 2011, killing 29,000 patients within a month of their diagnosis.
The Northeast had the highest rate of C. difficile cases, with eight per 1,000 hospital discharges. The Midwest had six cases of C. difficile per 1,000 hospital discharges. Areas in the South and the West had five cases per 1,000. As for seasons, the rate was similar in spring, winter, summer, and fall. Mortality rates were highest in the Midwest (7.3%) and in older adults (9.0%).
“Results of this study may be used to direct resources and implement targeted control measures where and when they are needed most,” concluded the investigators.