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Gastric Acid Suppression and Outcomes in Clostridium difficile Infection: A Population-Based Study



      To evaluate the association of gastric acid suppression medications, including proton pump inhibitors and histamine type 2 blockers, with outcomes in patients with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in a population-based cohort.

      Patients and Methods

      To understand the association between acid suppression and outcomes in patients with CDI, we conducted a population-based study in Olmsted County, Minnesota, from January 1, 1991, through December 31, 2005. We compared demographic data and outcomes, including severe, severe-complicated, and recurrent CDI and treatment failure, in a cohort of patients with CDI who were treated with acid suppression medications with these outcomes in a cohort with CDI that was not exposed to acid-suppressing agents.


      Of 385 patients with CDI, 36.4% were undergoing acid suppression (23.4% with proton pump inhibitors, 13.5% with histamine type 2 blockers, and 0.5% with both). On univariate analysis, patients taking acid suppression medications were significantly older (69 vs 56 years; P<.001) and more likely to have severe (34.2% vs 23.6%; P=.03) or severe-complicated (4.4% vs 2.6% CDI; P=.006) infection than patients not undergoing acid suppression. On multivariable analyses, after adjustment for age and comorbid conditions, acid suppression medication use was not associated with severe or severe-complicated CDI. In addition, no association between acid suppression and treatment failure or CDI recurrence was found.


      In this population-based study, after adjustment for age and comorbid conditions, patients with CDI who underwent acid suppression were not more likely to experience severe or severe-complicated CDI, treatment failure, or recurrent infection.

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      CDI (Clostridium difficile infection), H2 (histamine type 2), ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision), PPI (proton pump inhibitor), REP (Rochester Epidemiology Project)
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