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Dasch, Burkhard; Bausewein, Claudia; Feddersen, Berend (2018): Place of death in patients with dementia and the association with comorbidities: a retrospective population-based observational study in Germany. In: BMC Palliative Care 17:80
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Background: Due to increasing life expectancy, more and more older people are suffering from dementia and comorbidities. To date, little information is available on place of death for dementia patients in Germany. In addition, the association of place of death and comorbidities is unknown. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional survey was conducted in Westphalia-Lippe (Germany), based on the analysis of death certificates from 2011. Individuals with dementia >= 65 years were identified using the documented cause of death. In this context, all mentioned causes of death were included. In addition, ten selected comorbidities were also analyzed. The results were presented descriptively. Using multivariate logistic regression, place of death was analyzed for any association with comorbidities. Results: A total of 10,364 death certificates were analyzed. Dementia was recorded in 1646 cases (15.9%;mean age 86.3 +/- 6.9 years;67.3% women). On average, 1.5 +/- 1.0 selected comorbidities were present. Places of death were distributed as follows: home (19.9%), hospital (28.7%), palliative care unit (0.4%), nursing home (49.5%), hospice (0.9%), no details (0.7%). The death certificates documented cardiac failure in 43.6% of cases, pneumonia in 25.2%, and malignant tumour in 13.4%. An increased likelihood of dying in hospital compared to home or nursing home, respectively, was found for the following comorbidities (OR [95%-CI]): pneumonia (2.96 [2.01-4.35], p = 0.001);(2.38 [1.75-3.25], p = 0.001);renal failure (1.93 [1.26-2.97], p = 0.003);(1.65 [1.18-2.32], p = 0.003);and sepsis (13.73 [4.88-38.63], p = 0.001);(7.34 [4.21-12.78], p = 0.001). Conclusion: The most common place of death in patients with dementia is the retirement or nursing home, followed by hospital and home. Specific comorbidities, such as pneumonia or sepsis, correlated with an increased probability of dying in hospital.