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Similar, Longer Survival for Cancer Patients Who Die at Home

In days’ and weeks’ prognosis groups, survival significantly longer for patients who died at home

MONDAY, March 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) — For cancer patients, survival is similar or longer for those who die at home versus those who die in the hospital, according to a study published online March 28 in Cancer.

Jun Hamano, M.D., from the University of Tsukuba in Japan, and colleagues conducted a multicenter prospective cohort study to examine potential differences in survival time for cancer patients dying at home or in a hospital. A total of 2,426 patients were recruited and 2,069 were analyzed (1,582 receiving hospital-based palliative care and 487 receiving home-based palliative care).

The researchers found that 1,607 patients actually died in a hospital and 462 died at home. Patients who died at home had significantly longer survival than those who died in a hospital in the days’ prognosis group (estimated median survival time, 13 versus nine days; P = 0.006) and the weeks’ prognosis group (36 versus 29 days; P = 0.007). There was no significant difference between the groups in the months’ prognosis group. In both unadjusted and adjusted models, place of death had a significant influence on the survival time (hazard ratios, 0.86 and 0.87, respectively).

“In conclusion, cancer patients who died at home had similar or longer survival in comparison with those who died in a hospital,” the authors write.

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