Obesity is not associated with adverse outcomes among hospitalized patients with Clostridioides difficile infection

Malick, Alyyah; Wang, Ying; Axelrad, Jordan; Salmasian, Hojjat; Freedberg, Daniel

Obesity is associated with increased risk for death in most infections but has not been studied as a risk factor for mortality in Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). This study tested obesity as a risk factor for death in patients hospitalized with CDI. This was a three-center retrospective study that included hospitalized adults with CDI at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and NYU Langone from 2010 to 2018. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between obesity, measured by body mass index, and death from any cause within 30 days after the index CDI test.

Data for 3851 patients were analyzed, including 373 (9.7%) who died within 30 days following a diagnosis of CDI. After adjusting for other factors, BMI was not associated with increased risk for death in any BMI category [adjusted OR (aOR) 0.96, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.34 for BMI > 30 vs BMI 20–30; aOR 1.02, 95% CI 0.53 to 1.87 for BMI > 40 vs BMI 20–30]. After stratifying into three groups by age, there were trends towards increased mortality with obesity in the middle-aged (56–75 vs ≤ 55 years old) yet decreased mortality with obesity in the old (> 75 vs ≤ 55) (p = NS for all). Advanced age and low albumin were the factors most strongly associated with death.

We found no association between obesity and death among patients with CDI, in contrast to most other infections. Obesity is not likely to be useful for risk-stratifying hospitalized patients with CDI.


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December 20, 2022


Clostridioides difficile
, Obesity, Body mass index, Age, Mortality