Background. Acid-suppressing agents have been associated with increased Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in adults. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association of acid-suppressing therapy with the development of CDI in the pediatric population.
Methods. This was a retrospective case-control study. Children aged 1 through 17 years with a positive C difficile polymerase chain reaction (PCR) result obtained between June 1, 2008, and June 1, 2012, were randomly matched to a control population selected from patients with negative PCR.
Results. A total of 458 children were included. No difference was observed in acid-suppressive therapy prior to PCR in CDI-positive versus -negative patients (n = 131 [57.2%] vs n = 121 [52.8%], P = .348). Among patients receiving acid-suppressing therapy prior to obtaining a PCR, no difference was observed in proton pump inhibitor use (45% vs 46.3%, P = .843), but histamine-2 receptor antagonist (H2RA) use was greater in the CDI-positive patients (32.8% vs 14.9%, P = .001). Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that H2RA therapy at home (odds ratio = 4.6; 95% confidence interval = 1.5-14.5) was an independent CDI predictor.
Conclusion. In this pediatric population, CDI risk in children receiving home acid-suppressive therapy with H2RAs is nearly 4.5 times greater than that of children not receiving H2RA therapy. These results suggest the need for continued monitoring and study of H2RA therapy in children.
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