Prostate Cancer Patients In Hospice Get Less High-Intensity Care

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Men dying of prostate cancer and who enroll in hospice are less likely to receive high-intensity end-of-life care compared with those who do not enter hospice, a study found.

Jonathan Bergman, MD, and colleagues analyzed linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results–Medicare data to identify a cohort of Medicare beneficiaries who died of prostate cancer between 1992 and 2005.

Of 14,521 men dying of prostate cancer, 7,646 (53%) used hospice for a median of 24 days, according to date published in an online report in Archives of Internal Medicine. Compared with men who did not enroll in hospice, those who did had 18% reduced odds of receiving high-intensity care, including intensive care unit admissions, inpatient stays, and multiple emergency department visits.

African-American race and higher Charlson comorbidity index were associated with lower odds of hospice care, whereas having a partner and a more recent year of death were associated with higher odds.

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