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Anne Høy Seemann Vestergaard

Socioeconomic Disparity Trends in End-of-Life Care for Cancer and Non-Cancer Patients: Are We Closing the Gap?

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Purpose: Socioeconomic disparities in end-of-life care have been reported across underlying diseases, but there is a paucity of information on potential time trends. Thus, we aimed to examine time trends in use of health-care services at the end of life according to socioeconomic position in patients dying from cancer and non-cancer diseases.

Materials and Methods: We conducted a nationwide registry-based study among adults dying from cancer or non-cancer diseases (diabetes, dementia, heart failure, ischemic heart disease, stroke, chronic liver disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) in Denmark in 2006-2016. We obtained data on patients' educational level and income level and use of health-care services within three months before death. Use of health-care services according to educational level and income level was plotted by calendar year of death and compared by regression analyses adjusting for age, sex, comorbidity, cohabitation, and municipality.

Results: In both cancer (n = 169,694) and non-cancer patients (n = 180,350), we found limited socioeconomic disparities and no clear temporal trends in use of hospital, intensive care, emergency room, general practice, home care nurse, and hospice. In 2006/2007, one percentage point more cancer patients with high income level compared with low income level were affiliated with hospital-based specialist palliative care (adjusted mean difference: 0.01 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.01; 0.02)), whereas this was 12 percentage points in 2016 (adjusted mean difference: 0.12 (95% CI: 0.09; 0.14)).

Conclusion: Socioeconomic disparities in specialist palliative care tended to increase over time among cancer patients but were limited and without clear time trends in use of other health-care services in both cancer and non-cancer patients.

TidsskriftClinical epidemiology
Sider (fra-til)653-664
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2022

Bibliografisk note

© 2022 Vestergaard et al.

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