Clostridium difficile infection caused nearly 500,000 infections among patients in the United States in 2011, CDC reports. In addition, C. difficile was linked to about 29,000 deaths. The study involved active population and laboratory-based surveillance in 10 geographic areas of the United States to identify the infection on either toxin or molecular assay. Cases were designated as community-associated or health careassociated, and regression models were used to calculate estimates of national incidence and total number of infections and deaths within 30 days of diagnosis. The study identified 15,461 cases of C. difficile, with 65.8% classified as health careassociated, though only 24.2% had onset during hospitalization. The estimated number of C. difficile infections in the United States was 453,000, and incidence was estimated to be higher among women, whites, and individuals aged 65 years and older. An estimated 83,000 people had at least one recurrence of infection. Preventing C. difficile is a priority, CDC said. The researchers concluded that "future efforts to prevent C. difficile will cross health care settings and focus more on appropriate antibiotic use, which has been shown to be successful in decreasing rates of C. difficile infection in England, where a multifaceted program including antimicrobial stewardship was implemented."