WEDNESDAY, April 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Among middle-aged and older community-dwelling adults, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization is associated with increased mortality risk, according to a research letter published in the March/April issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Arch G. Mainous, Ph.D., from the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues analyzed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001 to 2004 linked to the National Death Index through Dec. 31, 2015, to examine the mortality risk associated with MRSA colonization in community-dwelling adults aged 40 to 85 years.

The researchers found that 11-year mortality rates were 35.9 and 17.8 percent for MRSA-colonized and noncolonized participants, respectively. The hazard ratio for mortality among those colonized with MRSA was 1.75 after adjustment for potential confounders, including gender, race/ethnicity, health insurance, poverty-income ratio, hospitalization in the previous 12 months, and physician-diagnosed heart disease, diabetes, and asthma.

“Our observation of increased mortality risk among MRSA-colonized individuals invites further investigation into the risks of MRSA colonization,” the authors write. “Considering that MRSA colonization among adults in the community was examined rather than MRSA infection in hospitalized patients, this finding of increased mortality risk is especially troubling.”

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