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Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0104-4230


GORZONI, Milton Luiz  and  PIRES, Sueli Luciano. Deaths in nursing homes. Rev. Assoc. Med. Bras. [online]. 2011, vol.57, n.3, pp.333-337. ISSN 0104-4230.

OBJECTIVE: To define the causes of death in a nursing home population. METHODS: The study selected a 508-bed nursing home with standard medical records, regular meetings concerning death certificates and 12 medical doctors in charge of supervising or issuing death certificates. The procedure standard (2006 death certificates) was considered consistent enough to undergo the analysis. The collected data were gender, age, cause(s) of death and underlying disease(s). The statistical analysis compared data between the two genders and two age ranges (< 75 years and > 75 years). RESULTS: There were 118 deaths in 2006 (mean age: 74.5 ± 15.2 years) - 64 women (mean age: 78.4 ± 14.4 years old) and 54 men (mean age: 69.8 ± 15.0 years old). Causes of death were sepsis (41 deaths), septic shock (25), bronchopneumonia (16), sudden death (11), multiple-organ failure (9) and other causes (16 deaths). The main underlying diseases were infections (63 deaths) - bronchopneumonia (34), sepsis (12), urinary tract infection (7) infected pressure ulcers (7), osteomyelitis (2) and bile duct infection (1); immobility syndrome (42 deaths). The proportion of women older than 75 years showed statistical significance concerning the number of deaths. The sample did not show statistical significance regarding seasonality, causes of death or underlying disease(s) when comparing infectious and noninfectious causes of death vs. men and women, aged older or younger than 75 years. CONCLUSION: Deaths in nursing homes were basically caused by a combination of immobility and infections that developed into sepsis.

Keywords : Aged; nursing homes for the aged; mortality.

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