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Logo of bmjoInstructions for authorsCurrent ToCBMJ Open
BMJ Open. 2012; 2(5): e001280.
Published online Sep 28, 2012. doi:  10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001280
PMCID: PMC3488755
Factors that prolong the ‘postmortem interval until finding’ (PMI-f) among community-dwelling elderly individuals in Japan: analysis of registration data
Tomoko Ito,1,6 Nanako Tamiya,1 Hideto Takahashi,2 Kentaro Yamazaki,3 Hideki Yamamoto,4 Shoji Sakano,5 Masayo Kashiwagi,1 and Satoru Miyaishi6
1Department of Health Services Research, Doctoral Program in Human Care Science, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan
2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan
3Department of Forensic Medicine, Yamagata University, Yamagata, Japan
4School of Public Health, Teikyo University, Tokyo, Japan
5Suginami Public Health Center, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo, Japan
6Department of Legal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan
Correspondence to Dr Nanako Tamiya; ntamiya/at/
Received June 14, 2012; Accepted August 28, 2012.
To clarify the factors affecting ‘postmortem interval until finding’ (PMI-f) among elderly unexpected death cases.
Cross-sectional study.
All area of Yamagata prefecture in Japan.
Entering subjects were 5675 elderly cases with age of ≥65 years selected from all 9002 cases of unexpected death from 2002 to 2007 in Yamagata prefecture between 2002 and 2007. Our final study subjects consisted of 3387 cases sampled with several criteria to assess the factors to prolong PMI-f.
Primary outcome measures
The outcome was the postmortem interval until finding (PMI-f) as the time from death until finding the body which we defined in this study.
‘Living alone’ showed the highest adjusted HR (3.73, 95% CI 3.37 to 4.13), also ‘unnatural death’ (1.50, 1.28 to 1.75), ‘found at own home’ (1.37, 1.22 to 1.55) and ‘younger subjects’ (0.99, 0.98 to 0.99). In the model including interactions with the household situation, we found ‘male subjects living alone’ and ‘female subjects living with family’ tended to be found later.
PMI-f is an effective outcome for quantitative analyses of risk of bodies left. To prevent the elderly dead bodies left for long time, it is necessary to keep regular home-based contact with elderly individuals living alone.
Keywords: Health Services Administration & Management, Forensic Medicine, Public Health
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