Increasing Trends of Clostridium difficile Infection in Hospitalized Young Patients: A Study of the National Inpatient Sample From 2007 to 2017

Cureus. 2022 Sep 23;14(9):e29497. doi: 10.7759/cureus.29497. eCollection 2022 Sep.

Abstract

Background Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is one of the rising public health threats in the United States. It has imposed significant morbidity and mortality in the elderly population. However, the burden of the disease in the young population is unclear. This study aimed to identify hospitalization trends and outcomes of CDI in the young population. Methodology We obtained data from the National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample (NIS) for hospitalizations with CDI between 2007 and 2017. We used the International Classification of Diseases Ninth Edition-Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) and ICD-10-CM to identify CDI and other diagnoses of interest. The primary outcome of our study was to identify the temporal trends and demographic characteristics of patients aged less than 50 years old hospitalized with CDI. The secondary outcomes were in-hospital mortality, length of hospital stay (LOS), and discharge dispositions. We utilized the Cochran Armitage trend test and multivariable survey logistic regression models to analyze the trends and outcomes. Results From 2007 to 2017, CDI was present among 1,158,047 hospitalized patients. The majority (84.04%) of the patients were ≥50 years old versus 15.95% of patients <50 years old. From 2007 to 2017, there was a significant increase in CDI among <50-year-old hospitalized patients (12.6% from 2007 to 18.1% in 2017; p < 0.001). In trend analysis by ethnicities, among patients <50 years old, there was an increasing trend in Caucasians (63.9% versus 67.9%; p < 0.001) and Asian females (58.4% versus 62.6%; p < 0.001). We observed an increased trend of discharge to home (91.3% vs 95.8%; p < 0.001) in association with a decrease in discharge to facility (8.3% vs 4%; p < 0.001). The average LOS from 2007 to 2017 was 5 ± 0.03 days, which remained stable during the study period. Conclusions The proportion of young (<50 years old) hospitalized patients with CDI has been steadily increasing over the past decade. Our findings might represent new epidemiological trends related to non-traditional risk factors. Future CDI surveillance should extend to the young population to confirm our findings, and the study of emerging risk factors is required to better understand the increasing CDI hospitalization in the young population.

Keywords: cdi hospitalizations; clostridium difficile; outcomes; trend; young population.