Who is at risk for developing a C. diff. infection?
If you are in good health, you will probably not get a C. diff. infection. The most common risk factor for C. diff. is the use of antibiotic medicine. Antibiotics can disrupt the normal balance in the intestines.
Risk factors for C. diff. infection include:
- Antibiotic use, especially a type of antibiotic that is broad-spectrum (is able to treat a wide variety of bacteria) or if you have been taking antibiotics for an extended period of time
- Surgery of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
- Abdominal surgery that requires moving the intestines aside
- Living in a nursing home or extended-care facility
- Colon problems, such as inflammatory bowel syndrome or colorectal cancer
- Weakened immune system
- Previous C. diff. infection
- Being 65 years of age or older
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff