Clostridium difficile infection is the main cause of diarrhoea among patients, and in recent years, the numbers of new cases of the infection have been steadily increasing.
The finding of the study is based on a representative sample of community hospital admissions in the US for 2003, which covered 994 hospitals in 37 States and included a total of 124,570 patients.
Out of 124,570 patients, 44,400 were admitted with C difficile infection, 77,366 were admitted IBD and 2,804 were admitted carrying both IBD and C difficile infection.
Patients with C difficile infection alone tended to be considerably older, and had an average age of 73. Patients with IBD had an average age of 42.
As a result of the research, it was found that the risk of death was higher among patients with C difficile infection alone or in combination with IBD than it was in those with IBD alone.
Also it was found that patients with both the infection and IBD were four times more likely to die than patients with just IBD or C difficile infection alone, irrespective of their age.
Those with the combination of IBD and C difficile infection stayed in hospital three days longer and had higher rates of endoscopy, a procedure in which a long tube with a camera on the end is passed through the gut.
Also it was found that patients with ulcerative colitis had more severe C difficile infection than those with Crohn's disease and worse outcomes.
Therefore, the researchers concluded that patients with IBD might be particularly susceptible to infection with C difficile.
The findings are published in the journal Gut.