COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Recurrent skin and soft tissue infections due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus requiring operative debridement.

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to examine clinical factors associated with the recurrence of community-onset skin and soft tissue infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

METHODS: An observational case-comparison study based on a retrospective review of medical records was conducted in a public health system. All patients with community-onset skin and soft tissue infections caused by methicillin-resistant S aureus who underwent operative debridement from January 1999 to December 2003 were included. The outcome of interest was recurrence within 1 year.

RESULTS: Two hundred fifty-three patients met the criteria for inclusion. Fifty-three (21%) patients returned with recurrent episodes. These patients were compared with 200 patients (79%) who did not develop recurrence. On multivariate analysis, factors independently predictive of recurrence were medical history of abscess requiring surgical debridement within the previous year (adjusted odds ratio, 2.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-5.0; P = .002) and obesity (adjusted odds ratio, 3.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-8.8; P = .008).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with obesity or histories of methicillin-resistant S aureus infection are at significantly increased risk for recurrent soft tissue infection.

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