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Health Agencies Update
April 25, 2012

Gastroenteritis-Related Deaths Increase

JAMA. 2012;307(16):1683. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.510

The number of US deaths associated with gastroenteritis increased from 7000 in 1999 to more than 17 000 in 2007, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The primary driver of this trend was a 5-fold increase in gastroenteritis deaths associated with Clostridium difficile infections, according to the data from the National Center for Health Statistics, presented in March at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases. Deaths among patients with C difficile –related gastroenteritis increased from about 2700 in 1999 to 14 500 in 2007. Norovirus was the second leading agent associated with gastroenteritis deaths during this period, with about 800 deaths a year, with peaks during years that a new strain of the virus began circulating.