The National End of Life Intelligence Network has released a new report, Older people who died in hospital: England 2017 which is available today. It is the third in the new Palliative and end of life care report series.
This report provides important data for stakeholders to understand deaths in hospital for people aged 75 years and older. Differences by age, sex deprivation are explored. In addition, the length of admissions ending in hospital death is examined.
45.6% of people aged 75 years and older died in hospital. This varied by demographic and cause of death as described below:
Age and sex
• a higher number of deaths occurred in hospital with increasing age, but the proportion of all deaths occurring in hospital decreased with increasing age
• a higher proportion of men than women died during an admission that lasted 8 days or longer, across all age groups
• males had a higher proportion of people with an admission ending in death that lasted 8 days or longer than women, across all age groups
• 50.3% of people from the most deprived areas died in hospital, compared with 43.9% of people from the least deprived
Cause of death
• the most common underlying cause of death for people aged 75 years and older who died in hospital in 2017 was cancer, followed by heart disease and pneumonia
• for most people aged 75 years and older who died in hospital, their underlying cause of death was not the same as the primary diagnosis at the point of admission to hospital in the hospital in which they died
• pneumonia and infections were recorded as the primary reason for admission in a large proportion of hospital admissions that ended in death (18.2% and 12.9% respectively)
Length of hospital admissions that ended in death
• 51.5% of people aged 75 years and older died in hospital during an admission lasting 8 days or longer