Impact of recurrentClostridium difficileinfection: hospitalization and patient quality of life

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Data quantifying outcomes of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (rCDI) are lacking. We sought to determine the UK hospital resource use and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) associated with rCDI hospitalizations.

Patients and methods:

A non-interventional study in six UK acute hospitals collected retrospective clinical and resource use data from medical records of 64 adults hospitalized for rCDI and 64 matched inpatient controls with a first episode only (f)CDI. Patients were observed from the index event (date rCDI/fCDI confirmed) for 28 days (or death, if sooner); UK-specific reference costs were applied. HRQoL was assessed prospectively in a separate cohort of 30 patients hospitalized with CDI, who completed the EQ-5D-3L questionnaire during their illness.


The median total management cost (post-index) was £7539 and £6294 for rCDI and fCDI, respectively (cost difference, P = 0.075); median length of stay was 21 days and 15.5 days, respectively (P = 0.269). The median cost difference between matched rCDI and fCDI cases was £689 (IQR=£1873-£3954). Subgroup analysis demonstrated the highest median costs (£8542/patient) in severe rCDI cases. CDI management costs were driven primarily by hospital length of stay, which accounted for >85% of costs in both groups. Mean EQ-5D index values were 46% lower in CDI patients compared with UK population values (0.42 and 0.78, respectively); EQ visual analogue scale scores were 38% lower (47.82 and 77.3, respectively).


CDI has considerable impact on patients and healthcare resources. This multicentre study provides a contemporaneous estimate of the real-world UK costs associated with rCDI management, which are substantial and comparable to fCDI costs.

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