Outcomes in children with clostridium difficile infection: Results from a nationwide survey

Arjun Gupta, Darrell S. Pardi, Larry M. Baddour, Sahil Khanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: Hospital- and population-based studies demonstrate an increasing incidence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in adults and children; although pediatric CDI outcomes are incompletely understood. We analysed United States National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) data to study CDI in hospitalized children. Methods: NHDS data for 2005-2009 (demographics, diagnoses and discharge status) were obtained; cases and comorbidities were identified using ICD-9 codes. Weighted univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to ascertain incidence of CDI; associations between CDI and outcomes [length of stay (LOS), colectomy, all-cause in-hospital mortality and discharge to a care facility (DTCF)]. Results: Of an estimated 13.8 million pediatric inpatients; 46 176 had CDI; median age was 3 years; overall incidence was 33.5/10 000 hospitalizations. The annual frequency of CDI did not vary from 2005 to 2009 (0.24-0.43%; P = 0.64). On univariate analyses, children with CDI had a longer median LOS (6 vs 2 days), higher rates of colectomy [odds ratio (OR) 2.0; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.7-2.4], mortality (OR 2.5; 95% CI 2.3-2.7), and DTCF (OR 1.6; 95% CI 1.6-1.7) (all P < 0.0001). After adjusting for age, sex and comorbidities, CDI was an independent and the strongest predictor of increased LOS (adjusted mean difference, 6.4 days; 95% CI 5.4-7.4), higher rates of colectomy (OR 2.1; 95% CI 1.8-2.5), mortality (OR 2.3; 95% CI 2.2-2.5), and DTCF (OR 1.7; 95% CI 1.6-1.8) (all P < 0.0001). On excluding infants from the analysis, children with CDI had higher rates of mortality, DTCF and longer LOS than children without CDI. Conclusions: Despite increased awareness and advancements in management, CDI remains a significant problem and is associated with increased LOS, colectomy, in-hospital mortality and DTCF in hospitalized children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-298
Number of pages6
JournalGastroenterology Report
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.


  • Children
  • Clostridium difficile infection
  • Epidemiology
  • Outcomes
  • Pediatric


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