Increased risk of vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) infection among patients hospitalized for inflammatory bowel disease in the United States

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2011 Jun;17(6):1338-42. doi: 10.1002/ibd.21519. Epub 2010 Nov 8.


Background: Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) infection has become an increasingly common hospital-acquired infection in U.S. hospitals. Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) frequently require hospitalization and therefore may be at increased risk of nosocomial infections.

Methods: We used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) to identify admissions for IBD (n = 116,842) between 1998 and 2004. We compared the prevalence of VRE in this group to that of non-IBD gastrointestinal (GI) inpatients and general inpatients and assessed for associations between VRE and hospital mortality, length of stay, and total charges.

Results: The crude VRE prevalence was 2.1/10,000 in hospitalized IBD patients, 1.3/10,000 in non-IBD GI patients, and 0.9/10,000 in general inpatients. After adjustment for confounders, IBD inpatients were at increased risk of VRE compared to the non-IBD GI (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.65; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03-2.64) and general inpatient (aOR 2.37; 95% CI: 1.31-4.27) groups. Among IBD patients, there was a higher prevalence of VRE infection in those who had surgery (4.4/10,000 versus 1.7/10,000; P < 0.04) and total parenteral nutrition (6.9/10,000 versus 1.8/10,000; P < 0.003). VRE infection was not associated with an increase in mortality (0% versus 0.7%, P = 0.8); however, it was associated with 3-fold higher total hospital charges ($63,517 versus $21,918 USD; P < 0.0001) and increased average length of stay in hospital (16.1 versus 6.1 days; P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Hospitalized IBD patients have increased susceptibility to VRE that is associated with increased economic burden. This study reinforces the importance of measures to prevent nosocomial infection, particularly in the vulnerable IBD population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross Infection / complications
  • Cross Infection / economics
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Enterococcus / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / economics
  • Hospital Costs
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / economics
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / microbiology
  • Length of Stay / economics
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vancomycin / therapeutic use*


  • Vancomycin