The association between methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonisation and/or infection with increased morbidity and mortality among hospital patients has long been recognised. We sought to build on previous studies to identify modifiable risk factors associated with the acquisition of MRSA colonisation and infection by conducting a retrospective cohort study on patients admitted through the Emergency Department of an acute tertiary-care general hospital in Singapore which implemented universal on-admission MRSA screening. Patients were assigned to the acquisition or non-acquisition group depending on whether they acquired MRSA during their admission. We used logistic regression models with a patient being in the acquisition group as the binary outcome to identify factors associated with MRSA acquisition. A total of 1302 acquisition and 37 949 non-acquisition group patients were analysed. Fifteen variables were included in the multivariate model. A dose–response relationship between length of stay and odds of MRSA acquisition was observed, with a length of stay 3 weeks or more (Adj OR 11.78–57.36, all P < 0.001) being the single biggest predictor of MRSA acquisition. Other variables significantly associated with MRSA acquisition were: male gender, age 65 or greater, previous MRSA colonisation or infection, exposure to certain antibiotics and surgery, and history of diabetes.
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