BACKGROUND: Insight into health conditions associated with death can inform healthcare policy. We aimed to cluster 27,525,663 deceased people based on the health conditions associated with death to study the associations between the health condition clusters, demographics, the recorded underlying cause and place of death.
METHODS: Data from all deaths in the United States registered between 2006 and 2016 from the National Vital Statistics System of the National Center for Health Statistics were analyzed. A self-organizing map (SOM) was used to create an ordered representation of the mortality data.
RESULTS: 16 clusters based on the health conditions associated with death were found showing significant differences in socio-demographics, place, and cause of death. Most people died at old age (73.1 (18.0) years) and had multiple health conditions. Chronic ischemic heart disease was the main cause of death. Most people died in the hospital or at home.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of multiple health conditions at death requires a shift from disease-oriented towards person-centred palliative care at the end of life, including timely advance care planning. Understanding differences in population-based patterns and clusters of end-of-life experiences is an important step toward developing a strategy for implementing population-based palliative care.
Policies and practices have been developed to operationalize assisted dying processes in Canada. This project utilized an environmental scan to determine the spectrum of assisted death reporting practices and medical certificate of death (MCD) completion procedures both nationally and internationally. Findings suggest medically assisted dying (MAiD) is represented on the MCD inconsistently nationally and internationally. Related factors include the specifics of local assisted death legislation and variations in death-reporting legislation, variation in terminology surrounding assisted death and designated oversight agency for assisted dying reporting.
The effect of hospice care on place of death among centenarians remained unexplored. Using data obtained from National Health Insurance Research Database (2002-2010), we compared the differences in place and cause of death between centenarians and noncentenarians. These data were stratified into centenarian (n = 2495) and noncentenarian (n = 820 563) death. Data in place and cause of death and hospice care interventions were retrieved. Poisson regression models were used to evaluate factors associated with the centenarians' place of death. Time series models were used to predict the number of centenarian deaths until 2025. Most (63.8%) of the centenarians died at their own homes, followed by 30.5% who died in hospital. Hospice home care was involved in only 0.3% of the centenarian deaths but in 1.8% of the noncentenarian deaths. The leading causes of death among centenarians were respiratory diseases (16.6%), circulatory diseases (15.2%), and pneumonia (14.8%). Among the centenarians, those who died of circulatory disease, old age, and respiratory diseases were more likely to die at their own homes. We forecasted the number of annual centenarian deaths to reach 800 in 2025. Therefore, an increase in the provision of advanced care planning and earlier home hospice care intervention may enable centenarians to die at their own residence.
Background: Bereavement is associated with impaired mental health, increases in adverse health behaviors, and heightened risk of suicidal ideation, attempts, and death by suicide. The purpose of this literature review was to explore associations between cause of death and suicidal thoughts among bereaved individuals. Our aim was to compare incidence of suicidal ideation by cause of death and identify gaps in this literature to guide future research and clinical intervention.
Methods: PRISMA-P guidelines were used to structure an electronic literature search in the PsycINFO, MEDLINE, and Web of Science databases. The search focused on English language studies that were published before February 2019 and sought to compare rates of suicidal ideation among bereaved people who lost a loved one to suicide, accidental overdose, cancer, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and HIV/AIDs.
Results: Ten articles were identified with suicide as cause of death, zero articles for accidental overdose, zero articles for cardiovascular disease, eight articles for cancer, one article for dementia, and one article for HIV/AIDs. Given the limited number of articles generated by our search, a formal meta-analysis was not appropriate. However, a comparison of results did suggest that suicide bereavement was associated with the highest rates of suicide ideation (14.1% to 49%). Stigma, isolation, avoidance behaviors, and psychological distress were associated with suicidal thoughts among bereaved individuals, regardless of the deceased's cause of death.
Conclusions: Findings of this literature search revealed significant gaps in the literature, especially regarding thoughts of suicide in bereaved survivors of accidental overdose and cardiovascular disease. Results suggest that multiple causes of death are associated with suicidal ideation in bereavement, but that suicide bereavement may be the cause of death associated with the highest risk of suicidal ideation. More research is needed to understand the ways in which cause of death influences prevalence, risk, and protective factors associated with suicidal thoughts among bereaved individuals.
This analysis addresses the controversial question of whether disclosure of a significant other's traumatic death cause is associated with mental health outcomes. Consistent with the limited previous research, this data, collected from 131 suicide bereaved, 10 exclusively drug death bereaved, and six other bereaved respondents, showed fewer grief difficulties and better self-rated mental health among those inclined to openly disclose a significant other's death cause, compared to those who feared incurring shame and embarrassment from doing so. Regression analyses suggested that the tendency to openly discuss the death was the single most powerful correlate to explaining variations in grief difficulties.
INTRODUCTION: There is no standard for categorizing reasons for death in those who achieve return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) after cardiac arrest but die before hospital discharge. Categorization is important for comparing outcomes across studies, assessing benefits of interventions, and developing quality-improvement initiatives. We developed and tested a method for categorizing reasons for death after cardiac arrest in both in-hospital (IHCA) and out-of-hospital (OHCA) arrests.
METHODS: Single-center, retrospective, cohort study of patients with ROSC after IHCA or OHCA between 2008 and 2017 who died before hospital discharge. Traumatic arrests and patients with "do-not-resuscitate" orders prior to their arrest were excluded. Two investigators assigned each patient to one of five predefined reasons for death. Interrater reliability was assessed using Fleiss' kappa. For final categorization, discrepancies were resolved by a third investigator.
RESULTS: There were 182 IHCA and 226 OHCA included. There was substantial agreement between raters (kappa of 0.62 and 0.61 for IHCA and OHCA, respectively). Reasons for death for IHCA and OHCA were: neurological withdrawal of care (27% vs 73%), comorbid withdrawal of care (36% vs 4%), refractory hemodynamic shock (25% vs 17%), respiratory failure (1% vs 3%), and sudden cardiac death (11% vs 4%). The differences in reasons for death among the two groups were significant (p-value < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Categorizing reasons for death after cardiac arrest with ROSC is feasible using our proposed categories, with substantial inter-rater agreement. Neurologic withdrawal of care is much less common in IHCA than OHCA, which may have implications for further research.
BACKGROUND: There is a heterogeneous literature on healthcare utilization patterns at the end of life. The objective of this study is to examine the impact of closeness to death on the utilization of acute hospital-based healthcare services and some primary healthcare services and compare differences in gender, age groups and major causes of death disease specific mortality.
METHODS: A matched case-control study, nested in a cohort of 411,812 subjects, linked to administrative databases was conducted. All subjects were residents in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (Italy), born before 1946, alive in January 2000 and were followed up to December 2014. Overall, 158,571 decedents/cases were matched by gender and year of birth to one control, alive at least one year after their matched case's death (index-date). Hospital admissions, emergency department visits, drug prescriptions, specialist visits and laboratory tests that occurred 365 days before death/index-date, have been evaluated. Odds Ratios (ORs) for healthcare utilization were estimated through conditional regression models, further adjusted for Charlson Comorbidity Index and stratified by gender, age groups and major causes of death.
RESULTS: Decedents were significantly more likely of having at least one hospital admission (OR 7.0, 6.9-7.1), emergency department visit (OR 5.2, 5.1-5.3), drug prescription (OR 2.8, 2.7-2.9), specialist visit (OR 1.4, 1.4-1.4) and laboratory test (OR 2.7, 2.6-2.7) than their matched surviving counterparts. The ORs were generally lower in the oldest age group (95+) than in the youngest (55-74). Healthcare utilization did not vary by sex, but was higher in subjects who died of cancer.
CONCLUSION: Closeness to death appeared to be strongly associated with healthcare utilization in adult/elderly subjects. The risk seems to be greater among younger age groups than older ones, especially for acute based services. Reducing acute healthcare at the EOL represents an important issue to improve the quality of life in proximity to death.
Patients with hematologic malignancies (HMs) often receive aggressive end-of-life care and less frequently use hospice. Comprehensive longitudinal reporting on place of death, a key quality indicator, is lacking. Deidentified death certificate data were obtained via the National Center for Health Statistics for all HM deaths from 1999 to 2015. Multivariate regression analysis (MVA) was used to test for disparities in place of death associated with sociodemographic variables. During the study period, there were 951 435 HM deaths. Hospital deaths decreased from 54.6% in 1999 to 38.2% in 2015, whereas home (25.9% to 32.7%) and hospice facility deaths (0% to 12.1%) increased (all P < .001). On MVA of all cancers, HM patients had the lowest odds of home or hospice facility death (odds ratio [OR], 0.55; 95% confidence interval, 0.54-0.55). Older age (40-64 years: OR, 1.34; =65 years: OR, 1.89), being married (OR, 1.62), and having myeloma (OR, 1.34) were associated with home or hospice facility death, whereas being black or African American (OR, 0.68), Asian (OR, 0.58), or Hispanic (OR, 0.84) or having chronic leukemia (OR, 0.83) had decreased odds of dying at home or hospice (all P < .001). In conclusion, despite hospital deaths decreasing over time, patients with HMs remained more likely to die in the hospital than at home.
Cet article est une mise au point sur la mort inattendue du nourrisson, qui malgré une forte baisse, reste la 1ère cause de décès au-delà de la période néonatale, justifiant de renforcer les mesures de prévention et d'en comprendre la cause. (Adapté du R.A.).
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.Objectives: Low/middle-income countries, particularly Small Island Developing States, face many challenges including providing good palliative care and choice in place of care and death, but evidence of the circumstances of dying to inform policy is often lacking. This study explores where people die in Trinidad and Tobago and examines and describes the factors associated with place of death.
Methods: A population-level analysis of routinely collected death certificate and supplementary health data where the unit of analysis was the recorded death. We followed the Reporting of Studies Conducted Using Observational Routinely Collected Health Data reporting guidelines, an extension of Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology, on a deidentified data set on decedents (n=10 221) extracted from International Statistical Classification of Diseases version 10 coded death records for the most recent available year, 2010.
Results: Of all deaths, 55.4% occurred in a government hospital and 29.7% in a private home; 65.3% occurred in people aged 60 years and older. Cardiovascular disease (23.6%), malignancies (15.5%) and diabetes mellitus (14.7%) accounted for over half of all deaths. Dying at home becomes more likely with increasing age (70–89 years (OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.73 to 2.10) and 90–highest (OR 3.63, 95% CI 3.08 to 4.27)), and less likely for people with malignancies (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.74 to 0.97), cerebrovascular disease (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.51 to 0.72) and respiratory disease (OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.59 to 0.91).
Conclusion: Place of death is influenced by age, sex, race/ethnicity, underlying cause of death and urbanisation. There is inequality between ethnic groups regarding place of care and death; availability, affordability and access to end-of-life care in different settings require attention.
Prolonged grief disorder (PGD), characterized by severe, persistent and disabling grief, is newly included in the International Classification of Diseases 11 (ICD-11). Receiving a PGD diagnosis could lead to stigmatizing public reactions (i.e. public stigma), yet research on this topic is limited. Additionally, while there is evidence that experiencing suicide bereavement causes public stigma, no studies to date have investigated the interaction between PGD and cause of death on public stigma. To fill these knowledge gaps, this experimental study tested if a PGD diagnosis (vs. no diagnosis) and experiencing suicide bereavement (vs. homicide and natural loss) cause public stigma. Three hundred and seventeen adults from the general population were randomly assigned to read one of 6 different vignettes of a person with and without PGD who had lost a spouse through a suicide, homicide or a stroke. After reading a vignette, negative attributions, emotional reactions, and desire for social distance were assessed. Notably, only persons with PGD were attributed relatively more negative characteristics, and elicited more anger, anxiety and pro-social emotions, and a larger preferred social distance in participants. This study supports the claim that PGD causes public stigma, but nuances claims that suicide bereavement induces public stigma.
BACKGROUND: Trial and registry data have reported mortality rates and causes of death in patients with left ventricular assist devices (LVADs); however, a more granular description is needed of end of life, including location of death and quality of life (QOL), to better guide expectations and care.
METHODS: To identify where patients with an LVAD died, characterize QOL before death, and cause of death over time, we evaluated patients in the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) implanted with a continuous-flow LVAD.
RESULTS: From 18,733 patients implanted with an LVAD during the period 2008 to 2016, 4,916 patients were known to have died, of whom 98% had a recorded location of death. Overall, 76.9% died in the hospital, with progressively more patients dying outside of the hospital further post-LVAD implant: <1 month, 2.3%; 1 to 12 months, and 16.8%; and >12 months, 37.4%. In a multivariable analysis, increased age (RR (risk ratio) 1.06, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02 to 1.12, p = 0.01) and destination therapy indication (RR 1.15, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.28, p = 0.01) increased the likelihood of dying outside the hospital. Comparing 3 months post-implant with 6 months before death in a subset of patients, QOL remained clinically stable (EQ-5D Visual Analog Scale [mean ± SD]: 68.3 ± 22.2 to 66.7 ± 21.7, p = 0.11; KCCQ: 61.0 ± 22.2 to 57.8 ± 23.2, p = 0.003). The most common cause of death <1 month post-implant was multiple-organ failure (20.4%) and at >1 month post-implant it was neurologic dysfunction (28.2%).
CONCLUSIONS: Most patients with an LVAD died in the hospital. QOL remained stable months before death and causes of death were varied, but increasingly dominated by stroke. By understanding death with an LVAD in place, clinicians are in a better position to educate patients and caregivers about what to expect and provide to support tailored to patient and caregiver needs.
Background: Although studies suggest that most people prefer to die at home, not enough is known about place of death patterns by cause of death considering sociodemographic factors. The objective of this study was to determine the place of death in the population and to analyze the sociodemographic variables and causes of death associated with home as the place of death.
Methods: Cross-sectional population-based study. All death certificate data on the residents in Spain aged 15 or over who died in Spain between 2012 and 2015 were included. We employed multinomial logistic regression to explore the relation between place of death, sociodemographic variables and cause of death classified according to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, and to conditions needing palliative care.
Results: Over half of all deaths occurred in hospital (57.4%), representing double the frequency of deaths that occurred at home. All the sociodemographic variables (sex, educational level, urbanization level, marital status, age and country of birth) were associated with place of death, although age presented the strongest association. Cause of death was the main predictor with heart disease, neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer's disease, dementia and senility accounting for the highest percentages of home deaths.
Conclusions: Most people die in hospital. Cause of death presented a stronger association with place of death than sociodemographic variables; of these latter, age, urbanization level and marital status were the main predictors. These results will prove useful in planning end-of-life care that is more closely tailored to people's circumstances and needs.
BACKGROUND: Knowledge about hospitalisations at the final stage of life is useful for understanding the need for hospital services.
MATERIAL AND METHOD: Registry information from Statistics Norway and the Norwegian Patient Registry was used to analyse the number of admissions to somatic hospitals during the final three years of life among people who died at the age of 56–95.
RESULTS: The sample in the analyses consisted of 35 954 individuals who had a total of 136 484 admissions during the observation period. Those who died at age 56–65 had 5.2 admissions on average, compared to 2.8 for those who died at age 86–95. Altogether 14.1 % had no admissions, while 13.3 % had eight or more. Those who died from malignant neoplasms had 5.6 admissions on average, compared to 4.2 if the cause of death was respiratory disease and 3.1 if the cause was circulatory disease.
INTERPRETATION: Intensive forms of treatment are assumed to have a lower likelihood of success in older patients. This might be one reason for the lower rate of hospitalisation at the final stage of life among patients in their 80s and 90s than among those who died in their 60s and 70s. Average age at death will rise as life expectancy rises, and the age variation in hospital admissions during the final years of life will thus have an impact on the need for admissions.
The goal of the current study was to explore how age-of-death (AOD) and mode-of-death MOD simultaneously influence ratings of sympathy, empathy, and tragedy toward the deceased in order to assess social value. Three hundred and fifty-eight participants, mainly undergraduates, responded to a series of vignettes that described a MOD (suicide, accident, or stroke) counterbalanced with three AODs (younger, middle-aged, and older). Overall, ratings of sympathy, empathy, and tragedy declined as AOD increased; however, the effect of AOD was not consistent across all MODs. The pattern of results suggests that death norms and perceived control of death impact the perception of the deceased.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the natural history, cause of death, and end-of-life experiences of individuals diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).
DESIGN: Twenty-question online survey administered through the Lewy Body Dementia Association.
SETTING: United States.
PARTICIPANTS: Caregivers, family, and friends of individuals who died in the past 5 years with a diagnosis of DLB (survey respondents: n = 658, 89% female, median age 50-69).
MEASUREMENTS: The survey included 3 questions about the respondent's background and 17 about the end-of-life experiences of the person with DLB. Topics included time from symptom onset and diagnosis to death, cause of death, advance directive completion, end-of-life education, hospice use, and location of death. Results were analyzed descriptively.
RESULTS: Most individuals with DLB died within 5 years of diagnosis (median 3-4 years). Respondents indicated that physicians rarely discussed what to expect at the end of life (40% total, but only 22% to a helpful degree) and that the caregiver usually initiated such conversations. Death was usually expected, but fewer than half of respondents felt prepared for what to expect. Seventy-eight percent used hospice, usually at home or in skilled care, with wide variations in duration. Failure to thrive was the most common cause of death (65%), followed by pneumonia and swallowing difficulties (23%), other medical conditions (19%), and complications from falling (10%) (multiple causes allowed).
CONCLUSION: Study results highlight a critical need for better prognostic counseling and education for persons and families living with DLB. The results of the current study can inform such counseling, but additional studies are needed to further explore expected prognosis of individuals diagnosed clinically with DLB and optimal use of palliative care services.
INTRODUCTION: There is an evidence of increasing inpatient expenditure for decedents. Estimates used to assess the economic burden of out-of-pocket (OOP) healthcare expenditure provide an underestimation for inpatient decedent cases. The aims of this paper are to study the trend and pattern of inpatient decedent expenditure and decipher the reasons behind the increasing cost in India.
METHODS: Using three rounds of national level National Sample Survey (NSS) data on morbidity & healthcare conducted during 1995-2015 in India, total and component-wise cost of dying was estimated by the socio-demographic characteristics and types of diseases. Generalised linear model was employed to find the changing effect of inpatient decedents on inpatient expenditure on three-time points.
RESULTS: More than half among inpatient decedents were elderly. Mean inpatient expenditure for neoplasm, circulatory system-related diseases and external causes of mortality and morbidity increased substantially during these two decades. Mean decedent inpatient expenditure become double, diagnostic and bed charges increased by 243%, 323% respectively during 2004–05 to 2014–15. During 2014–15 average decedents aged 15–59 years spent 53599 in last twelve month of their life. Controlling all other potential factors, the inpatient expenditure among decedents increased substantially between 1995–96 and 2014–15.
DISCUSSION: Out-of-pocket inpatient health expenditure widened between survivor and decedents in between 1995-2014. Increase in the proportion of elderly, proportion of non-communicable and lifestyle-related diseases, expenses on drugs, diagnostics, bed charges largely private sector expenses were the leading reasons for increasing inpatient decedent expenditure. Age-based risk adjustment and modification of end-of-life care are strongly required, future social insurance based on the health-based value of out-of-pocket expenditure rather than their pure consumption value need to be designed to tackle the burden.
The purpose of this study was to analyse the role rumination plays in the relationship between cause of death and the guilt present during bereavement. The sample consisted of 90 people that had suffered a loss due to an expected or unexpected natural death, suicide or accident. The results suggest that rumination increases the levels of guilt felt by people that had suffered a loss due to suicide compared to those whose loss was due to an expected natural death. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms with an influence on bereavement.
Objective: to describe the cause of death together with emergency department presentations and hospital admissions in the last year of life of people with intellectual disability.
Method: a retrospective matched cohort study using de-identified linked data of people aged 20 years or over, with and without intellectual disability who died during 2009 to 2013 in Western Australia. Emergency department presentations and hospital admissions in the last year of life of people with intellectual disability are described along with cause of death.
Results Of the 63 508 deaths in Western Australia from 2009 to 2013, there were 591 (0.93%) decedents with a history of intellectual disability. Decedents with intellectual disability tended to be younger, lived in areas of more social disadvantage, did not have a partner and were Australian born compared with all other decedents. A matched comparison cohort of decedents without intellectual disability (n=29 713) was identified from the general population to improve covariate balance.
Decedents with intellectual disability attended emergency departments more frequently than the matched cohort (mean visits 3.2 vs 2.5) and on average were admitted to hospital less frequently (mean admissions 4.1 vs 6.1), but once admitted stayed longer (average length of stay 5.2 days vs 4.3 days). People with intellectual disability had increased odds of presentation, admission or death from conditions that have been defined as ambulatory care sensitive and are potentially preventable. These included vaccine-preventable respiratory disease, asthma, cellulitis and convulsions and epilepsy.
Conclusion: People with intellectual disability were more likely to experience potentially preventable conditions at the end of their lives. This indicates a need for further improvements in access, quality and coordination of healthcare to provide optimal health for this group.
Aux XVIe et XVIIe siècles se développe en Europe, à partir de l'Italie, la pratique des ouvertures des corps de malades par les médecins et chirurgiens, dans le but de déterminer les causes de la mort ou de comprendre les effets des maladies. Des comptes rendus de ces examens post-mortem, publiés d'abord dans des recueils d'observations médicales et chirurgicales, se retrouvent rapidement dans tous les genres de la littérature médicale (practica, traités de médecine théorique, anatomies, correspondances ou monographies). Bien que souvent avares en détails sur les aspects les plus concrets de ces nécropsies, ils permettent d'esquisser à grands traits le cadre pratique de leur réalisation. Caractéristiques des malades, lieux, témoins, motifs de la demande de nécropsie par les médecins ou par l'entourage du mort, résistances et refus, particularités du contexte médico-légal : ce sont ces éléments concrets qui permettent de comprendre les conditions d'une pratique à l'origine de nouvelles connaissances sur la maladie humaine.