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Hospital versus home death: results from the Mexican Health and Aging Study

, : Hospital versus home death: results from the Mexican Health and Aging Study. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 41(5): 880-892

Characterizing where people die is needed to inform palliative care programs in Mexico. To determine whether access to health care influences the place of death of older Mexicans and examine the modifying effects of demographic and clinical characteristics. We analyzed 2001 baseline and 2003 follow-up data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study. Cases included adults who completed the baseline interview and died before the follow-up interview and for whom a proxy interview was obtained in 2003. The main outcome variable was the place of death (hospital vs. home). The predictors of the place of death were identified using logistic regression analysis. The study group included 473 deceased patients; 52.9% died at home. Factors associated with hospital death were having spent at least one night in a hospital during the last year of life (odds ratio [OR]: 6.73; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.29, 13.78) and dying in a city other than the city of usual residence (OR: 4.68, 95% CI: 2.56, 8.57). Factors associated with home death were not having health care coverage (OR: 2.78, 95% CI: 1.34, 5.88), living in a city of less than 100,000 residents (OR: 2.44, 95% CI: 1.43, 4.17), and older age (OR: 1.03, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.05). Older Mexicans with access to health care services were more likely to die in the hospital even after controlling for important clinical and demographic characteristics. Findings from the study may be used to plan the provision of accessible end-of-life hospital and home-based services.


PMID: 21146354

DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2010.07.007

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