Background: Accurate cause of death assignment is crucial for prostate cancer epidemiology and trials reporting prostate cancer-specific mortality outcomes.
Methods: We compared death certificate information with independent cause of death evaluation by an expert committee within a prostate cancer trial (2002-2015). Results: Of 1,236 deaths assessed, expert committee evaluation attributed 523 (42%) to prostate cancer, agreeing with death certificate cause of death in 1,134 cases (92%, 95% CI: 90%, 93%). The sensitivity of death certificates in identifying prostate cancer deaths as classified by the committee was 91% (95% CI: 89%, 94%); specificity was 92% (95% CI: 90%, 94%). Sensitivity and specificity were lower where death occurred within one year of diagnosis, and where there was another primary cancer diagnosis.Conclusion: UK death certificates accurately identify cause of death in men with prostate cancer, supporting their use in routine statistics. Possible differential misattribution by trial arm supports independent evaluation in randomised trials.
- BTC (Bristol Trials Centre)
- Centre for Surgical Research
- Cluster randomised controlled trial
- prostate cancer
- prostate cancer mortality
- cause of death
- death certification