Deaths from heart failure and cancer: location trends

Izza Shahid, Pankaj Kumar, Muhammad Shahzeb Khan, Abdul Wahab Arif, Muhammad Zain Farooq, Safi U. Khan, Dorothy M. Davis, Erin D. Michos, Richard A. Krasuski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Increasing utilisation of hospice services has been a major focus in oncology, while only recently have cardiologists realised the similar needs of dying patients with heart failure (HF). We examined recent trends in locations of deaths in these two patient populations to gain further insight. Methods: Complete population-level data were obtained from the Mortality Multiple Cause-of-Death Public Use Record from the National Center for Health Statistics database, from 2013 to 2017. Location of death was categorised as hospital, home, hospice facility or nursing facility. Demographic characteristics evaluated by place of death included age, sex, race, ethnicity, marital status and education, and a multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to analyse possible associations. Results: Among 2 780 715 deaths from cancer, 27% occurred in-hospital and 14% in nursing facilities; while among 335 350 HF deaths, 27% occurred in-hospital and 30% in nursing facilities. Deaths occurred at hospice facilities in 14% of patients with cancer, compared with just 8.7% in HF (p=0.001). For both patients with HF and cancer, the proportion of at-home and in-hospice deaths increased significantly over time, with majority of deaths occurring at home. In both cancer and HF, patients of non-Hispanic ethnicity (cancer: OR 1.29, (1.27 to 1.31), HF: OR 1.14, (1.07 to 1.22)) and those with some college education (cancer: OR 1.10, (1.09 to 1.11); HF: OR 1.06, (1.04 to 1.09)) were significantly more likely to die in hospice. Conclusion: Deaths in hospital or nursing facilities still account for nearly half of cancer or HF deaths. Although positive trends were seen with utilisation of hospice facilities in both groups, usage remains low and much remains to be achieved in both patient populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberbmjspcare-2020-002275
JournalBMJ Supportive and Palliative Care
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • hospice care
  • nursing home care
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical–Surgical
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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