Impact of Clostridium difficile recurrence on hospital readmissions

Margaret A. Olsen, Yan Yan, Kimberly A. Reske, Marya Zilberberg, Erik R. Dubberke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background: The impact of recurrent Clostridium difficile infections (CDIs) on hospital readmissions is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine whether recurrent CDI was independently associated with the number of hospital readmissions and days readmitted. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study at an academic, urban, tertiary care hospital. Data were collected from electronic medical records and supplemented with chart review. CDI patients were followed for 180 days to ascertain the number of hospital readmissions and total days readmitted. Univariate and multivariable negative binomial regression models were used to evaluate factors, including CDI recurrence, associated with hospital readmissions. Results: The study included 3,950 patients with CDI from 2003-2009, including 413 patients with recurrent CDI. Recurrent CDI patients were significantly more likely to have at least 1 readmission (85% vs 41%; P < .001) and had more days readmitted (mean = 18.6 vs 7.6; P < .001) than patients without recurrent CDI. In multivariable analysis, recurrent CDI was independently associated with number of readmissions (rate ratio = 2.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.21-2.91) and days readmitted (rate ratio = 3.97; 95% CI, 3.11-5.08) after adjustment for demographics, comorbidities, and medications. Conclusion: Recurrent CDI patients are significantly more likely than patients without a recurrence to be readmitted and spend increased time readmitted to the hospital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-322
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015


  • Clostridium difficile
  • Cohort
  • Epidemiology
  • Readmission
  • Recurrence


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