Nosocomial candidemia in patients admitted to medicine wards compared to other wards: a multicentre study



Risk factors for nosocomial candidemia, severity of sepsis, treatment, and outcome were compared between patients admitted to medicine wards and those to surgical and intensive care units (ICUs).


Data were retrospectively collected from patients belonging to six referral hospitals in Italy between January 2011 and December 2013. Risk factors for 30-day mortality were evaluated in the whole patient population.


A total of 686 patients (mean age 70 ± 15 years) with candidemia were included. 367 (53.5 %) patients were in medicine wards, and 319 in surgery and ICUs. Host-related risk factors for candidemia were more common in medicine patients whereas healthcare-related factors in surgery/ICU patients. These patients showed severe sepsis and septic shock more commonly (71.7 %) than medicine patients (59.9 %) (p 0.003). The latter underwent central venous catheter (CVC) removal and adequate antifungal therapy less frequently than surgery/ICU patients. 149 (40.6 %) patients died with candidemia in medicine wards and 69 (21.6 %) in other wards (p < 0.001). Overall, the 30-day mortality was 36.3 %. At multivariate analysis, independent risk factors for death were aging, higher Charlson score, severe sepsis and septic shock, and no antifungal therapy, while major surgery and CVC removal were associated with higher probability of survival.


The burden of risk factors for candidemia was different between medicine patients and those in other wards. Despite the lower severity of candidemia in medicine patients, their mortality turned out to be higher than in surgery or ICU patients. Awareness of the best management of candidemia should be pursued, especially in medicine wards.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Roberto Luzzati.

Ethics declarations

The study was approved by the local institutional review board. Patient characteristics of each hospital participating to the study were anonymized prior to be reported in a common electronic database. For this type of study formal consent is not required in Italy. The study has been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.


The authors declare no funding.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Luzzati, R., Merelli, M., Ansaldi, F. et al. Nosocomial candidemia in patients admitted to medicine wards compared to other wards: a multicentre study. Infection 44, 747–755 (2016).

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  • Candidemia
  • Epidemiology
  • Risk factors
  • Medicine wards
  • Elderly
  • Mortality