Background: Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a Gram-positive, anaerobic, spore-forming bacillus that can cause pseudomembranous colitis and other C. difficile-associated diseases, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. The incidence and clinical features vary by geography.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we examined the incidence and clinical features of C. difficile infection (CDI) within a 2,900-bed academic medical center in a southern area of China from January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2020. All adult inpatients (aged ≥ 18 years) who submitted loose stool samples for C. difficile testing over this period were considered for the study.
Results: This cross-sectional study showed that the average incidence of CDI was 2.07 cases/100,000 hospital patient-days. The mean age of these inpatients was 71.21 ± 2.83 years (range 30 - 93 years), and 83.61% (51/61) were treated in medical units. We found that 85.25% (52/61) of inpatients with CDI were aged > 60 years. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that age > 60 years, and admission to the geriatric treatment unit or neurosurgery treatment unit were indeed independent risk factors for CDI in inpatients.
Conclusions: The incidence of CDI in the southern area of China was low. Age > 60 years, and treatment in geriatric or neurosurgery units were independent risk factors for CDI inpatients.