The study find that the older adults with cancer have increased odds of developing Clostridiodes difficile infection (CDI), according to a study published in the September issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mini Kamboj, M.D., from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study with a nested case-control analysis to examine the risk for CDI among older adults with cancer.

The Older adults with cancer

Data are include for 93,566 Medicare beneficiaries; a nested case-control analysis included 2,421 case patients with CDI and 12,105 matched controls. The researchers find that 2.6% of the 93,566 Medicare beneficiaries had CDI during the study period. In unadjusted analyses, the proportion was 2.8 versus 2.4% among patients with versus without cancer. In the nested case-control analysis; the odds of developing CDI are elevate among cancer patients (adjuste odds ratio, 1.15).

An underlying diagnosis of a liquid tumor was significantly associate with an increase risk for CDI compare with no cancer diagnosis (adjusted odds ratio, 1.74). For patients with a solid tumor, the odds of developing CDI were elevated for those with a recent cancer diagnosis and with a distant metastasis at diagnosis. The findings were independent of previous health care-associated exposure.”The burden of CDI among older adults is greater among those with underlying cancer;” the authors write. “These findings  use to guide CDI prevention strategies.

Distant metastasis at diagnosis

Cancer treatment can be more challenging and complicated for older adults. This is because older adults are more likely to have chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. Even when you are healthy; your body will most likely respond differently to treatment than a younger person’s body. For example, older adults are more likely to have serious side effects from chemotherapy. In the past, doctors sometimes made decisions without talking with patients. Today; the situation is different. Your health care team wants to know your concerns and answer your questions.

They also believe that you have the right to make your own decisions. Working with your health care team to make a treatment plan can help you feel more in control. Depending on your age and general health, you might care more about feeling well than curing cancer permanently. This might be especially true if you have a chronic health condition or you feel that your quality of life is poor. But if you are very healthy and enjoy many activities, you might want aggressive treatment. You might have plans many years in the future. If so, you might want your health care team to do everything possible for a cure.