Candidacolonization of the vagina in elderly residents of a long-term-care hospital


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Abstract

The present study was conducted in order to determine the prevalence of vaginal colonization by Candida spp in elderly residents of a long-term-care hospital and to examine the determinants of vaginal candidiasis. Vaginal swabs for Gram stain and culture were obtained from 106 bedridden residents of a long-term-care hospital (study group; mean age, 83±7 years) and a control group of 50 similarly aged women admitted to an acute-care hospital for non-genital problems (mean age, 81±8 years). The characteristics of patients who tested positive for Candida spp were compared with those who tested negative. Candida spp were isolated from 34 (32%) patients in the study group and from four (8%) control patients (p=0.001). In the study group, Candida glabrata was by far the most common species isolated (51.2%). The warm and moist environment in the perineal area created by diaper use in incontinent individuals, together with decubitus ulcers and immobilization, which are common in elderly patients receiving long-term care, might be responsible for the high occurrence of vaginal colonization with Candida in these women.

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