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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Johannes Attems
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BACKGROUND: In the geriatric population the autopsy rate is low, leading to mortality statistics often based on clinical diagnoses alone. OBJECTIVES: To determine the clinical diagnostic accuracy rate regarding the immediate cause of death (CDARCD), the number of major underlying diseases and sole diagnoses, and general data about the immediate cause of death in geriatric hospitalized patients. METHODS: The autopsy proven immediate cause of death was compared with the clinical diagnosis in 1594 patients over 69 years of age. Based on the autopsy protocols, the mean number of major underlying diseases and sole diagnoses were calculated. The immediate cause of death was classified into six groups: cardiovascular disease (CVD), malignant neoplasms (MN), bronchopulmonary disease (BPD), fatal pulmonary embolism (PE), miscellaneous (M), and marantic atrophy (MA). RESULTS: The overall CDARCD was 52.5%, being highest in MN (65.0%), followed by CVD (56.0%), MA (50%), BPD (48.3%), M (44.3%), and PE (26.7%). The most common cause of death was CVD (35.8%), followed by MN (24.3%), BPD (19.8%), PE (10.6%), M (7.7%) and MA (1.9%). The mean number of major underlying diseases and sole diagnoses was 2.0 and 14.4 respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The low CDARCD in our study strongly indicates the need for autopsy when reliable mortality statistics are desired.
Author(s): Attems J, Arbes S, Bohm G, Bohmer F, Lintner F
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift
ISSN (print): 0043-5341
ISSN (electronic): 1563-258X
Publisher: Springer Wien
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