Previous studies have documented similar levels of end-of-life symptom burden for lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, yet there has been little comparison of health care utilization during this period. This study contrasts health care utilization by people with COPD and those with lung cancer in the 12 months prior to death.
We performed a retrospective cohort study of 1098 patients who died in 2004 with a cause of death recorded as COPD or lung cancer using administrative health data. Our outcomes of interest included acute, long-term and home care service utilization.
The study population was 42% female with a mean age of 77 years (S.D.=11). In the last 12 months of life, decedents with COPD were more likely to be institutionalized in a LTC setting (41% vs. 12.5%, p