Risk Factors for Community-associated Clostridium difficile-associated Diarrhea in Children

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Background:Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) is increasingly diagnosed in children in community settings. This study aims to assess recent antibiotic use and other risk factors in children with community-associated (CA-) CDAD compared with children with other diarrheal illnesses in a tertiary care setting.Methods:Children with CA-CDAD evaluated at Texas Children’s Hospital (Houston, TX) from January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 were identified. Two control subjects with community-associated diarrhea who tested negative for C. difficile were matched to case subjects. Data on demographics, medication exposure and outpatient healthcare encounters were collected from medical records. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify predictors of pediatric CA-CDAD.Results:Of 69 CA-CDAD cases, most (62.3%) had an underlying chronic medical condition and 40.6% had antibiotic exposure within 30 days of illness. However, no traditional risk factor for CDAD was identified in 23.2% and 15.9% of CA-CDAD cases within 30 and 90 days of illness onset, respectively. Outpatient healthcare encounters within 30 days were more common among CA-CDAD cases than control subjects (66.7% vs. 48.6%; P = 0.01). In the final multivariate model, CA-CDAD was associated with cephalosporin use within 30 days [odds ratio: 3.32; 95% confidence interval: 1.10–10.01] and the presence of a gastrointestinal feeding device (odds ratio: 2.59; 95% confidence interval: 1.07–6.30).Conclusions:Recent use of cephalosporins and the presence of gastrointestinal feeding devices are important risk factors for community- associated CDAD in children. Reduction in the use of outpatient antibiotics may decrease the burden of CA-CDAD in children.

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