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Epidemiology of CLOSTRIDIUM DIFFICILE infection among active duty United States military personnel (1998-2010)

Ramiro L Gutiérrez*, Mark S Riddle and Chad K Porter

Author Affiliations

Enteric Diseases Department, Naval Medical Research Center, 503 Robert Grant Ave, 20910, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2013, 13:609  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-609

Published: 28 December 2013



Clostridium difficile associated disease (CDAD) has risen in incidence and the experience in the US military has not been described.


We evaluated the U.S. military’s database and identified CDAD cases and demographic characteristics among affected military personnel from 1998 to 2010.


2,423 cases were identified. CDAD incidence was 13.2 cases (95% CI: 12.7-13.7) per 100 K p-yr and increased over study years. CA-CDAD and HA-CDAD incidence was 5.5 (95% CI: 5.2, 5.9) per 100 K p-y and 1.3 (95% CI: 1.2, 1.4) per 1,000 hospitalizations respectively. Females comprised a larger proportion of CA-CDAD than HA-CDAD (25.5% vs. 19.3%; p < 0.001) cases as did Air Force service (29% vs. 23.4%; p < 0.01). On multivariate analysis female gender, Coast Guard or Air Force service, and a married status was associated with CA-CDAD whereas Male gender and Marine Corps service were associated with HA-CDAD cases.


CDAD has increased among military personnel, with female cases more likely to be community associated. Gender, marital status and branch of service had the strongest association with CDAD subtype. Further work is needed to evaluate the epidemiologic factors that have led to these increased rates in otherwise low-risk populations and associated sequelae.

Clostridium difficile; C difficile; Clostridium difficile associated disease; Epidemiology; US military