STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to identify any social class differences in health and care in the year before death emerging from a wider study of life before death. DESIGN AND SETTING--Data were collected at interviews, mainly of close relatives, with those who knew most about the people's lives in the year before they died. The sample was a random sample of adult (15 and over) deaths in 10 areas of England in 1987. SUBJECTS--Information was obtained about 639 persons, 80% of the initial sample of 800 deaths. MAIN RESULTS--While middle class people die at an older age, the symptoms and physical restrictions reported for middle class and working class people were similar, and middle class people were reported to have a better quality of life before death. More working class people were felt to be in financial need. CONCLUSIONS--Money and class contribute to the quality of life before death as well as postponing death.
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