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Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Oct 15;35(8):935-42. Epub 2002 Sep 19.

Effect of gastrointestinal bleeding and oral medications on acquisition of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium in hospitalized patients.

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Department of Healthcare Epidemiology, University of Texas Medical Branch Hospitals and Clinics, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX 77555, USA.


There has been minimal investigation of medications that affect gastrointestinal function as potential risk factors for the acquisition of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). We performed a retrospective case-control study, with control subjects matched to case patients by time and location of hospitalization. Strict exclusion criteria were applied to ensure that only case patients with a known time of acquisition of VRE were included. Control patients were patients with > or =1 culture negative for VRE. The risk factors identified were use of vancomycin (odds ratio [OR], 3.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7-6.0; P=.0003), presence of central venous lines (OR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.04-4.6; P=.04), and use of antacids (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.5-5.6; P=.002). Two protective factors included gastrointestinal bleeding (OR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.08-0.79; P=.02) and use of Vicodin (Knoll Labs; hydrocodone and acetaminophen; OR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.90-0.97; P=.0003). Changes in gastrointestinal function, whether due to bleeding or to the effects of oral medications, may affect whether patients become colonized with VRE.

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