Clostridioides difficile Infection in COVID-19 Hospitalized Patients: A Nationwide Analysis

Xheni Deda, Khaled Elfert, Mustafa Gandhi, Alexander Malik, Esraa Elromisy, Nehemias Guevara, Suresh Nayudu, Matthew Bechtold


Background: Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is a significant healthcare-associated infection with implications for patient morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. However, the connection between CDI and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection and its influence on patient outcomes remain uncertain. This study aimed to examine the association between CDI and COVID-19, specifically investigating whether CDI worsens outcomes in patients with COVID-19. By utilizing the extensive National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database and analyzing pertinent factors, this research endeavored to enhance our understanding of CDI within the context of COVID-19.

Methods: The NIS database was searched for adult patients hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 infection in 2020. Patients with a secondary diagnosis of CDI were identified and separated into two groups based on CDI status. Baseline characteristics, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), and outcomes were compared between the two groups using Chi-square and t-tests. Multivariate logistic and linear regressions were performed for the identification of independent predictors of CDI and mortality.

Results: A total of 1,045,125 COVID-19 hospitalizations were included, of which 4,920 had a secondary diagnosis of CDI. Patients with CDI and COVID-19 were older (mean age 69.9 vs. 64.2 years; P < 0.001), more likely to be female (54.1% vs. 47.1%; P < 0.001) and white (60% vs. 52.4%; P < 0.001). The CDI and COVID-19 group had a longer length of stay (14.1 vs. 7.42 days; P < 0.001), higher total hospital costs ($42,336 vs. $18,974; P < 0.001), and higher inpatient mortality (21.6% vs. 11%; P < 0.001) compared to the COVID-19 group without CDI. Patients in the CDI and COVID-19 group had a higher CCI score (51.7% with a score of 3 or more vs. 27.7%; P < 0.001), indicating a higher comorbidity burden. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed CDI was independently associated with increased mortality (odds ratio (OR) 1.37; P = 0.001) and showed that the female gender and several pre-existing comorbidities were associated with a higher likelihood of CDI.

Conclusion: CDI is independently associated with increased mortality in patients admitted with COVID-19 infection. Female gender and several pre-existing comorbidities are independent predictors of CDI in COVID-19 patients.

Gastroenterol Res. 2023;16(4):234-239


Clostridioides difficile infection; Colitis; COVID-19; National Inpatient Sample

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