Researchers Find Health Care Costs Associated With a Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI) and Recurrent CDI Shows a Significant Increase


“This study is consistent with previous literature that has demonstrated a significant and substantial increase in health care resource utilization for CDI over and above similar patients without CDI,” researcher Dongmu Zhang, PhD, of Merck’s Center for Observational and Real-World Evidence, and colleagues wrote. “It has also shown that having rCDI is associated with substantial health care resource use as compared to similar CDI patients who do not have a recurrence.”

To estimate costs and time of hospitalization associated with CDI and rCDI, the researchers conducted a retrospective observational study. They assessed patient records using databases of commercial and Medicare health care claims. Both databases included information on demographics, diagnoses and prescriptions, among other data.

The researchers matched patients without CDI to those with the infection in a 1:1 ratio to estimate costs and lengths of hospital stay due to primary CDI. They then matched patients with primary CDI 1:1 to those with rCDI in a similar comparison. Each patient was followed for 6 months.

The study included records for 55,504 patients diagnosed with CDI between

July 2010 and July 2014.

The mean patient age was 61.3 years,

62% of patients were women.

Nearly a quarter of patients — 24.8% — had rCDI.

The estimated cumulative hospital stays due to CDI and rCDI were 5.2 days and 1.95 days, respectively.

The estimated health care costs due to CDI and rCDI were $24,205 and $10,580, respectively.

Zhang and colleagues said the data show that clinicians must act to control CDI.

“The health care resource utilization and economic burden associated with primary and rCDI are quite substantial,” they wrote. “Better prevention and treatment of CDI, especially rCDI, are needed.” – by Joe Green


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