Risk factors for health care–associated infections: From better knowledge to better prevention

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Health care–associated infections (HCAIs) are preventable with adoption of recognized preventive measures. The first step is to identify patients at higher risk of HCAI. This study aimed to identify patient risk factors (RFs) present on admission and acquired during inpatient stay which could be associated with higher risk of acquiring HCAI.


A case-control study was conducted in adult patients admitted during 2011 who were hospitalized for >48 hours. Cases were patients with HCAIs. Controls were selected in a ratio of 3:1, case matched by the admission date. The likelihood of increased HCAI was determined through binary logistic regression.


RFs identified as being the more relevant for HCAI were being a man (odds ratio [OR], 2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-4.7), being aged >50 years (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.3-6.9), and having an insertion of a central venous line during hospital stay (OR, 12.4; 95% CI, 5.0-30.5).


RFs that showed statistical significance on admission were the patient's intrinsic factors, and RFs acquired during hospitalization were extrinsic RFs. When a set of RFs were present, the presence of a central venous line proved to be the more relevant one.

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