Trends in places and causes of death among centenarians in Japan from 2006 to 2016

Toshihiro Koyama, Tsukasa Higashionna, Akinori Maruo, Soichiro Ushio, Yoshito Zamami, Ko Harada, Hideharu Hagiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Amid the global aging, an establishment of healthcare policies for the aged population is a common issue to be addressed. However, few studies on centenarians have reported place and cause of death (PoD and CoD, respectively) as indicators of end-of-life care quality. This study aimed to analyze trends in PoD and CoD among centenarians in Japan. Methods: Data from death certificates from Japanese vital statistics were analyzed; 205 513 deaths occurred among centenarians (aged ≥100 years) in Japan during the period from 2006 to 2016. PoD prevalence was calculated for each CoD. Trends in PoD prevalence were analyzed using the Joinpoint regression model. Changing points, annual percentage changes, and average annual percentage changes (AAPCs) were calculated to examine trends. Results: The number of deaths more than doubled from 10 340 in 2006 to 26 427 in 2016. PoDs were composed of hospitals (52.7%), nursing homes (31.4%), own homes (13.6%) and others (2.2%). Dementia and old age increased rapidly as CoD. Proportions of hospital and home deaths decreased, with AAPCs of −2.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], −2.6 to −1.9) and −2.3% (95% CI, −3.2 to −1.4), respectively. Conversely, the proportion of deaths in nursing homes rapidly increased, with an AAPC of 6.8% (95% CI, 6.0–7.7). Conclusions: The results revealed changes in PoD among centenarians in Japan. Understanding these transitions is indispensable for health policy in aging societies. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2022; 22: 675–680.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-680
Number of pages6
JournalGeriatrics and Gerontology International
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • aging
  • centenarians
  • death
  • nursing home
  • trend

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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