What are the risk factors for Clostridium difficile (C diff) colitis infection (CDI)?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019
  • Author: Faten N Aberra, MD, MSCE; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Advanced age (>60 y) and hospitalization (particularly sharing a hospital room with an infected patient, intensive care unit stays, and prolonged hospital stays) are known risk factors for infection with C difficile. Severe illnesses, immune suppression, and gastric acid suppression [19] (or bypassing gastric acid via enteral feeds) are also well-established risk factors. In addition, in recent years, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been implicated as a strong risk factor for C difficile infection (CDI). [9, 20]  Early emergency general surgery has also been associated with a high incidence of CDI, particularly in patients who receive 3 or more postoperative antibiotics and those who undergo bowel resections. [21]

Rarer associations include the following:

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