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Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2008;42(4):352-7. doi: 10.1080/00365590802078583.

Reliability of death certificates in prostate cancer patients.

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1
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. katja.Fall@ki.se

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the reliability of cause-of-death diagnoses among prostate cancer patients.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

Information from death certificates obtained from the Swedish Death Register was compared with systematically reviewed medical records from the population-based Swedish Regional Prostate Cancer Register, South-East Region. In total, 5675 patients were included who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1987 and 1999 and who had died before 1 January 2003.

RESULTS:

The proportion of prostate cancer cases classified as having died from prostate cancer was 3% higher in the official death certificates than in the reviewed records [0.03, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.02 to 0.04]. Overall agreement between the official cause of death and the reviewed data was 86% (95% CI 85 to 87%). A higher accuracy was observed among men with localized disease (88%, 95% CI 87 to 89%), aged 60 years or younger at death (96%, 95% CI 93 to 100%), or who had undergone curative treatment (91%, 95% CI 88 to 95%). This study indicates a relatively high reliability of official cause-of-death statistics of prostate cancer patients in Sweden.

CONCLUSION:

Mortality data obtained from death certificates may be useful in the evaluation of large-scale prostate cancer intervention programmes, especially among younger patients with localized disease.

PMID:
18609293
DOI:
10.1080/00365590802078583
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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