Reporting of Dementia Causes of Death Among Nursing Home Residents

Ellen Kramarow , National Center for Health Statistics
Betzaida Tejada-Vera, National Center for Health Statistics

Dementia presents a major challenge to many areas of public health in the US. In 2017, 261,914 deaths were attributed to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. From death certificates alone, it is not possible to know whether the decedent had a diagnosis of dementia before death. Mortality data linked to medical information can improve understanding of the reporting of dementia causes of death on death certificates. This paper uses a linked data source (the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey linked to the National Death Index through December 31, 2015) to analyze the causes of death for decedents who were nursing home residents prior to death. We investigate how demographic characteristics and diagnoses (including dementia) are related to the underlying and multiple causes of death listed on the death certificate. We demonstrate the benefits and limitations of linked data for mortality analyses.

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 Presented in Session 3. Population, Development, & the Environment; Data & Methods; Applied Demography