Table 2

Incidence of unplanned hospitalisation during the last year of life, by illness trajectory

No. decedentsUnplanned hospitalisationNumber of person-years*Incidence rate per 100 person-yearsIncidence rate ratio (95% CIs)†
No. eventsMeanUnadjustedAdjusted‡
Overall77 315128 1561.6673 3261751.0 (Ref)§1.0 (Ref)
 Cancer23 21349 4592.1321 4472311.22 (1.21 to 1.24)1.20 (1.18 to 1.21)
 Organ failure28 33852 1841.8426 8241951.09 (1.08 to 1.11)1.04 (1.03 to 1.06)
 Prolonged dwindling20 06419 3260.9619 552990.57 (0.56 to 0.59)0.66 (0.65 to 0.68)
 Sudden death570071871.2655031310.73 (0.71 to 0.76)0.79 (0.77 to 0.82)
  • *The number of person-years at risk is not equal to the number of decedents because time at risk was defined as the number of days when the persons were not already hospitalised (ie, when the decedents were truly at risk of unplanned hospitalisation).

  • †Robust SEs were used to estimate the 95% CIs; incidence rate ratio obtained from zero-inflated Poisson models.

  • ‡Adjusted for sex, age, education, marital status, frailty, number of chronic diseases, polypharmacy; decedents with missing data about education (2.1% of total) were excluded from this analysis.

  • §The total study population was used as the reference category to compare the risks across illness trajectories to the average risk in the cohort.