Mortality attributable to nosocomial Clostridium difficile-associated disease during an epidemic caused by a hypervirulent strain in Quebec

Pepin, Jacques; Valiquette, Louis; Cossette, Benoit
October 2005
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;10/25/2005, Vol. 173 Issue 9, p1037
Academic Journal
Background Since 2002 an epidemic of Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD) caused by a hypervirulent toxinotype III ribotype 027 strain has spread to many hospitals in Quebec. The strain has also been found in the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The effects of this epidemic on mortality and duration of hospital stay remain unknown. We measured these effects among patients admitted to a hospital in Quebec during 2003 and 2004. Methods We compared mortality and total length of hospital stay among inpatients in whom nosocomial CDAD developed and among control subjects without CDAD matched for sex, age, Charlson Comorbidity Index score and length of hospital stay up to the diagnosis of CDAD in the corresponding case. Results Thirty days after diagnosis 23.0% (37/161) of the patients with CDAD had died, compared with 7.0% (46/656) of the matched control subjects ( p< 0.001). Twelve months after diagnosis, mortality was 37.3% (60/161) among patients with CDAD and 20.6% (135/656) among the control subjects ( p< 0.001), for a cumulative attributable mortality of 16.7% (95% confidence interval 8.6%–25.2%). Each case of nosocomial CDAD led, on average, to 10.7 additional days in hospital. Interpretation: This study documented a high attributable mortality among elderly patients with CDAD mostly caused by a hypervirulent strain, which represents a dramatic change in the severity of this infection.


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