Healthcare costs of Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile infections in Veterans: Role of vitamin D deficiency

D. Youssef, B. Bailey, A. El Abbassi, R. Copeland, L. Adebonojo, T. Manning, A. N. Peiris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Clostridium difficile and staphylococcal infections are associated with increased morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. Vitamin D deficiency may also contribute to increased healthcare costs. There is increasing evidence that vitamin D may have an antimicrobial role. We examined the relationship of serum 25(OH)D levels to staphylococcal and C. difficile infections to determine if vitamin D deficiency was associated with adverse outcomes. In the outpatient setting, vitamin D deficiency in patients with C. difficile and staphylococcal infections were associated with significantly increased total outpatients costs and fee-based consultation. Laboratory expenses had a trend towards higher costs in the vitamin D-deficient group but did not reach statistical significance. The differences were most clearly seen in the in-patient group with enhanced laboratory, pharmacy and radiology costs. These differences resulted in vitamin D-deficient patients with C. difficile or staphylococcal infections having costs more than five times higher than the non-deficient patients. The total length of hospital stay was four times greater in the vitamin D-deficient group. In addition, the total number of hospitalizations was also significantly greater in the vitamin D-deficient group. Surgery costs demonstrated a tendency to be higher in the vitamin D-deficient group but failed to reach statistical significance. Vitamin D deficiency is intimately linked to adverse health outcomes and costs in Veterans with staphylococcal and C. difficile infections in North East Tennessee. We recommend that vitamin D status be checked in patients with these infections and appropriate therapy be instituted to restore vitamin D level to normal in an expeditious manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1322-1327
Number of pages6
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Volume138
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010

Keywords

  • Clostridium difficile
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • health costs
  • public health
  • vitamin D deficiency

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