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CDC: C. Difficile Infections Clustered in Northeast

Mortality rates highest in the Midwest, and in older people

THURSDAY, May 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Infections with Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) have been the most prevalent in the Northeast during the past decade, new U.S. research shows. The findings were published in the May 1 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

University of Texas researchers looked at slightly more than two million cases of infection of C. difficile. These infections cause more health care-related infections in U.S. hospitals than any other, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

C. difficile costs as much as $4.8 billion in estimated extra health care costs per year, according to CDC estimates. Roughly half a million infections occurred in 2011, killing 29,000 patients within a month of their diagnosis.

The University of Texas researchers found that the Northeast had the highest rate of C. difficile cases, with eight per 1,000 hospital discharges. The Midwest had six cases of C. difficile per 1,000 hospital discharges. Areas in the South and the West had five cases per 1,000. As for seasons, the rate was similar in spring, winter, summer, and fall. Mortality rates were highest in the Midwest (7.3 percent) and in older adults (9.0 percent).

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