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Trends in Place of Death Among Patients With Gynecologic Cancer in the United States

Hicks-Courant, Katherine, MD; Melamed, Alexander, MD; Worley, Michael, J., Jr, MD; Kim, Young, Bae, MD; Schorge, John, O., MD; Rauh-Hain, J., Alejandro, MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002614
Contents: Gynecologic Oncology: Original Research

OBJECTIVE: To describe the change over time in place of death (hospital, home, hospice) among all women in the United States who died of gynecologic malignancies and compare them with other leading causes of female cancer deaths.

METHODS: This is a retrospective cross-sectional study using national death certificate data from the Mortality Multiple Cause-of-Death Public Use Record Data. All women who died from gynecologic, breast, lung, and colorectal cancers were identified according to International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, cause of death from 2003 to 2015. Regression analyses with ordinary least-squares linear probability modeling were used to test for differences in location of death over time, and differences in trends by cancer type, while controlling for age, race, ethnicity, marital status, and education status.

RESULTS: From 2003 to 2015, 2,133,056 women died from gynecologic, lung, breast, and colorectal malignancies in the United States. A total of 359,340 died from gynecologic malignancies, including ovarian cancer (n=188,366 [52.4%]), uterine cancer (n=106,454 [29.6%]), cervical cancer (n=52,320 [14.6%]), and vulvar cancer (n=12,200 [3.4%]). Overall, 49.2% (n=176,657) of gynecologic cancer deaths occurred at home or in hospice. The relative increase from 2003 to 2015 in the rate of deaths at home or in hospice was 47.2% for gynecologic cancer deaths (40.5% in 2003 to 59.5% in 2015). In adjusted analyses, the trend in the percentage of deaths at home or in hospice increased at a rate of 1.6 percentage points per year for gynecologic cancer deaths (95% CI 1.5–1.6) vs 1.5 (95% CI 1.4–1.5, P<.001), 1.4 (95% CI 1.4–1.5, P<.001), and 1.5 (95% CI 1.4–1.5, P=.09) percentage points per year for lung, breast, and colorectal cancer deaths, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Between 2003 and 2015, there was a 47.2% increase (40.5–59.5%) in the rates of gynecologic cancer deaths occurring at home or in hospice. This trend may represent an increase in advance care planning and value-based treatment decisions.

Between 2003 and 2015, there was a 47% increase (40.5–59.5%) in the rates of gynecologic cancer deaths occurring at home or in hospice.

Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Tufts Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; and MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Corresponding author: Katherine Hicks-Courant, MD, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Tufts Medical Center, 800 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111; email:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

Presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology's Annual Meeting on Women's Cancer, March 24–27, 2018, New Orleans, Louisiana.

The authors thank Aaron L. Schwartz for providing guidance and feedback on the project.

John O. Schorge, Associate Editor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, was not involved in the review or decision to publish this article.

Each author has indicated that he or she has met the journal's requirements for authorship.

© 2018 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.