Categorical variables are shown as numbers (%), and continuous parameters are shown as the means (SDs) or medians (IQRs). Comparisons were made with Fisher’s exact test for categorical data and the Wilcoxon test for continuous data. In the final cohort, 52 cases of bacteraemia were excluded based on the absence of catheter colonization; these cases were considered possible deviations from the diagnosis of bacteraemia based on the analysis of the clinical symptoms. For the survival analysis, all patients were analyzed in aggregate and stratified by survival status at 30 days, and the last data were used as covariates when one patient had two or more episodes of suspected CRBSIs.

The hypothesis of this study was that the attributable mortality of CRBSI might be higher than other infections. The statistical analysis was performed in three steps. First, we used univariate and multivariate analyses to determine the risk factors for CRBSI. The quartiles of APACHE II scores and of SOFA scores per specific patient population were used as covariables [2,6]. A multivariable generalized linear model was used to evaluate the risk factors for CRBSI. A nonparametric receiver operating characteristic curve was constructed, and the area under the curve (AUC) was calculated. In the second step, we evaluated the mortality associated with CRBSI in the entire cohort using a time-varying Cox proportional hazard model [16], and the fraction of attributable mortality was used after the final model estimation command, the parameters of which were interpreted as log rate ratios [17]. Third, we assessed the incidence of and mortality attributable to other infections in patients with suspected CRBSIs during the same period. All statistical tests were two-tailed, and significance was set at α = 0.05.

The statistical analyses were performed with Stata/SE 15.1 (Stata Corp LLC 4905 Lakeway Drive College Station, TX 77,845 USA).

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