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Place Of Death And Associated Factors: A Population-based Study Using Death Certificate Data

María José Cabañero-Martínez, Andreu Nolasco, Inmaculada Melchor, Manuel Fernández-Alcántara, Julio Cabrero-García

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Abstract 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.