Journal of
Clinical Pathology and Forensic Medicine

  • Abbreviation: J. Clin. Pathol. Forensic Med.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2405
  • DOI: 10.5897/JCPFM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 30

Article in Press

Study of Deaths in Elderly Patients in Kumasi; What Do They Die of and Where?

Paul Poku Sampene Ossei, Nicholas Niako , William Gilbert Ayibor, Benedict Mawuli Agagli, Emmanuel Asante, Yaw Arkoh Badu Essuman

  •  Received: 15 August 2019
  •  Accepted: 23 March 2021
Introduction: The proportion of the aged (65 years and above) in Ghana is projected to increase from 7% in 2010 to 12% in 2050. This small projected increase begs the question of the quality of end-to-life care and the subsequent cause of death among the elderly population in Ghana. This retrospective study aims at investigating all manner of deaths and place of death among those aged 65 years and older, based on autopsy findings from 2008 to 2016 at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. Method: This retrospective observational study included demographic and other relevant details on the cause and place of death of the elderly abstracted from the Autopsy Logbook of the Department of Pathology of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and examined retrospectively. Organization and data analysis were performed using Microsoft Excel 2013 and SPSS version 25. Results: The study involved 960 patients aged between 65 years and older. The mean age was 74.73 years. 58.4% and 41.6% of the study units were men and women respectively. 30.8% died of respiratory and infectious disorders. 20.2% died of cardiovascular disorders, another 10.2% died of disorders such as hypertension and diabetes. While 8.4% died of Road Traffic Accidents (RTA), gastrointestinal, cerebrovascular accidents, malignancy, and renal diseases collectively accounted for 30.4% of all deaths. 65.8% of the study population were brought in dead (BID) followed by 14.8% deaths at the hospital and 19.4% deaths occurring at places other than mentioned in the study. Conclusion: Approximately 61.2% of the older adults included in this study died of respiratory, infections, cardiovascular and chronic disorders, where close to 66% of them were brought in dead. Thus, it is not far-fetched to infer that end-to- life health care of the elderly is one that hasn’t been given the needed attention in Ghana.

Keywords: Aging-related diseases, autopsy findings, cause of death, place of death, death cases.