Recurring Clostridium difficile intestinal infections are rising sharply in the United States, researchers warn. These infections sicken about 500,000 people a year, cause tens of thousands of deaths, and cost the U.S. health care system about $5 billion, according to investigators at the University of Pennsylvania. C. difficile causes diarrhea, severe gut inflammation and can lead to deadly blood infections, especially in the elderly. A review of nationwide health insurance data found a nearly 200 percent increase in the annual incidence of multiple recurring C. difficile infections between 2001 and 2012. For ordinary C. difficile, incidence rose by about 40 percent. Patients with multiple recurring C. difficile infections tended to be older (average age 56 versus 49), female, and were more likely to have used antibiotics, corticosteroids or acid-reducing drugs, the findings showed. Read more.
Source: HealthDay News, July 7, 2017