Incidence, mortality and cost of c diff infections are at all time high

The incidence, mortality, and medical costs of clostridium difficile infection (CDI) are at their highest levels in history, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the report, researchers looked at data from the Emerging Infections Program, NHSN, and c diff prevention programs in Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York.

Key findings include:

  • 94% of all CDIs were related to various precedent and concurrent health-care exposures
  • Of these patients, 75% had CDI onset outside of a hospital.
  • Some cases occurred in patients who were exposed to multiple settings including nursing homes and hospitals.
  • Mortality from CDI increased from 3,000 deaths per year during 1999–2000 to 14,000 during 2006–2007; over 90% of these cases were in patients aged 65 or older.
  • Hospital-onset CDI  are estimated to cost $5,042–$7,179 per case.
  • Much of the recent increase in the incidence and mortality of CDIs is attributed to the emergence and spread of a hypervirulent, resistant strain of C. difficile.

(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, March 7, 2012; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,, March 6, 2012)