The purpose of this study was to identify the risk factors during the incident Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) episode, associated with developing recurrent CDI within 60 days, among hospitalized children that may be amenable to intervention.


This was a retrospective cohort study of pediatric patients hospitalized at a freestanding children’s hospital from January 1, 2003, to December 31, 2010. Patients were eligible if they were <18 years of age at admission and had a new diagnosis of CDI. Patients <1 year of age and those with a history of CDI in the previous 60 days were excluded. Age, gender, race, complex chronic conditions, and other information were collected. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate predictors of recurrent CDI.


During the study period, there were 612 unique patients with an incident CDI episode; 65 (10.6%) experienced at least 1 recurrence. Patients with any complex chronic condition were 4.0 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.2–13.9) times more likely to experience recurrence. Patients with a malignancy and those who received non-CDI antibiotics at any time during CDI treatment were 2.3 (95% CI: 1.3–4.0) and 2.8 (95% CI: 1.2–6.9) times more likely to experience recurrence, respectively.


The presence of underlying comorbidities, malignancies, and treatment with non-CDI antibiotics during CDI treatment were the most important risk factors for recurrence. Efforts to reduce unnecessary courses of non-CDI antibiotics could lower the risk of CDI recurrence.

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