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Cause of death in patients with dementia disorders.

Brunnström, Hans LU and Englund, Elisabet (2009) In European Journal of Neurology 16. p.488-492
Abstract
Background: Investigations on cause of death may provide valuable information about life expectancy and on conditions of terminal dementia care, which perhaps can be ameliorated. Methods: The autopsy reports were studied on all patients (n = 524; 55.3% females; median age 80 years) with a clinically and neuropathologically diagnosed dementia disorder who underwent a complete autopsy at the University Hospital in Lund, Sweden, during 1974-2004. Results: The two most common causes of death were bronchopneumonia (38.4%) and ischaemic heart disease (23.1%), whilst neoplastic diseases were uncommon (3.8%). In a general population of elderly studied for comparison, bronchopneumonia accounted for 2.8%, ischaemic heart disease for 22.0%, and... (More)
Background: Investigations on cause of death may provide valuable information about life expectancy and on conditions of terminal dementia care, which perhaps can be ameliorated. Methods: The autopsy reports were studied on all patients (n = 524; 55.3% females; median age 80 years) with a clinically and neuropathologically diagnosed dementia disorder who underwent a complete autopsy at the University Hospital in Lund, Sweden, during 1974-2004. Results: The two most common causes of death were bronchopneumonia (38.4%) and ischaemic heart disease (23.1%), whilst neoplastic diseases were uncommon (3.8%). In a general population of elderly studied for comparison, bronchopneumonia accounted for 2.8%, ischaemic heart disease for 22.0%, and neoplasm for 21.3% of the deaths. Amongst the demented patients, circulatory and respiratory system diseases were the causes of death in 23.2% and 55.5% of the Alzheimer patients, respectively, whilst the corresponding figures were 54.8% and 33.1% for the patients with vascular dementia. Conclusions: In patients with dementia, pneumonia as the immediate cause of death may reflect a terminal stage in which patient care and feeding is difficult to manage well. Knowledge about what actually causes death is of value in the terminal care of patients with dementia disorders. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
European Journal of Neurology
volume
16
pages
488 - 492
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000264372900020
  • pmid:19170740
  • scopus:62849083860
ISSN
1351-5101
DOI
10.1111/j.1468-1331.2008.02503.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
90abd7b2-6193-4877-b8d2-9f4b79a4d678 (old id 1289247)
alternative location
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19170740?dopt=Abstract
date added to LUP
2009-02-04 13:13:30
date last changed
2017-12-10 04:43:32
@article{90abd7b2-6193-4877-b8d2-9f4b79a4d678,
  abstract     = {Background: Investigations on cause of death may provide valuable information about life expectancy and on conditions of terminal dementia care, which perhaps can be ameliorated. Methods: The autopsy reports were studied on all patients (n = 524; 55.3% females; median age 80 years) with a clinically and neuropathologically diagnosed dementia disorder who underwent a complete autopsy at the University Hospital in Lund, Sweden, during 1974-2004. Results: The two most common causes of death were bronchopneumonia (38.4%) and ischaemic heart disease (23.1%), whilst neoplastic diseases were uncommon (3.8%). In a general population of elderly studied for comparison, bronchopneumonia accounted for 2.8%, ischaemic heart disease for 22.0%, and neoplasm for 21.3% of the deaths. Amongst the demented patients, circulatory and respiratory system diseases were the causes of death in 23.2% and 55.5% of the Alzheimer patients, respectively, whilst the corresponding figures were 54.8% and 33.1% for the patients with vascular dementia. Conclusions: In patients with dementia, pneumonia as the immediate cause of death may reflect a terminal stage in which patient care and feeding is difficult to manage well. Knowledge about what actually causes death is of value in the terminal care of patients with dementia disorders.},
  author       = {Brunnström, Hans and Englund, Elisabet},
  issn         = {1351-5101},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {488--492},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {European Journal of Neurology},
  title        = {Cause of death in patients with dementia disorders.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-1331.2008.02503.x},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2009},
}