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Table 1 Potential Bias Associated with Alternative Strategies For Veterans' Mortality Ascertainment *

From: Comparing strategies for United States veterans' mortality ascertainment

  BIRLS Only Strategy Death Certificate Only Strategy
  Cases identified by BIRLS Additional cases identified by death certificates P-value Cases identified by death certificates Additional cases identified by BIRLS P-value
Number of cases 6,387 2,426   8,124 689  
Age (years) 70.86 71.15 0.8253 70.95 70.79 0.6891
Gender       
   Male 98 97 0.2733 98 98 0.8662
Race / Ethnicity       
   White 57 54   58 31 <0.001
   Black 12 8   11 6  
   Hispanic 5 5   5 1  
   Other 2 2   2 1  
   Missing 24 31 <0.001 23 61  
Marital Status       
   Married 46 49   47 45 0.0028
   Single 16 13   15 16  
   Divorced 23 24   23 23  
   Widowed 11 12   11 11  
   Missing 4 2 0.0002 3 6  
State of Residence       
   California 92 99   99 38  
   Non-California 8 1 <0.001 1 62 <0.001
Diagnosis       
   Cancer 35 32 0.0426 35 17 <0.001
   CHF 22 19 0.0175 22 7 <0.001
   COPD 28 24 0.0002 28 11 <0.001
   ESLD 6 4 0.0327 6 3 0.0010
   ESRD 3 1 <0.0001 3 0 0.001
   Dementia 11 11 0.9656 11 3 <0.001
   HIV 1 1 0.1586 1 0 0.0621
Complexity Index       
   0 35 37   32 69  
   1 35 39   38 22  
   2 22 18   22 6  
   3 7 5   7 2  
   4 1 1 <0.0001 1 0 <0.001
Site of Utilization       
   Any inpatient       
   Any long term 45 29 <0.0001 42 21 <0.001
care 20 12 <0.0001 19 7 <0.001
   Any outpatient 95 96 0.0225 95 96 0.1218
  1. *Findings are expressed as proportions unless otherwise identified. P-values reflect Wilcoxon two-sided probabilities for continuous variables and chi-square for categorical variables. Categorical tests reflect tests for differences including missing.