Exploratory research on determinants of place of death in a large-scale cohort study: the JPHC study

J Epidemiol. 2021 Jul 3. doi: 10.2188/jea.JE20210087. Online ahead of print.


BackgroundThe place of death and related factor such as diseases, symptoms, family burden, and cost has been examined, but social background and lifestyle were not considered in most studies. Here, we assessed factors that are associated with the place of death using the largest cohort study in Japan.MethodsA total of 17,546 deaths from the cohort study were assessed. The study database was created from the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study (JPHC Study) in which demographic data were collected by Japanese Vital Statistics. Adjusted odds ratios for home death were calculated by logistic regression.ResultsMultivariate analysis adjusted for various factors showed that unmarried status (OR 2.4, 95%CI:2.0-2.9), unemployed male (OR 1.3, 95%CI: 1.1-1.5), and high drinking level (OR 1.3, 95%CI:1.1-1.6) were associated with home death. Regarding the cause of death, cardiovascular disease (OR 3.3, 95%CI:2.9-3.8), cerebrovascular disease (OR 1.9, 95%CI:1.6-2.2) and external factors (OR 4.1, 95%CI:3.5-4.8) were significantly associated with home death, compared with cancer. The risk of death at home was significantly higher in unmarried status stratified by cause of death (OR: cardiovascular 3.2, 95%CI:2.2-4.7 / cerebrovascular 5.0, 95%CI:2.8-8.9 / respiratory 3.4, 95%CI:1.6-7.6/ external 2.3, 95%CI:1.4-3.7), but for cancer, the risk of death at home tended to be higher in married status.ConclusionsThis study indicated that various factors are associated with home death using the largest cohort study in Japan. There is a high possibility of home deaths in people with fewer social connections and in those with diseases leading to sudden death.

Keywords: Factors influencing home death; Large-cohort study; Place of death.