The prediction of short-term survival is important for noncancer patients and their families. Although a markedly reduced oral intake by cancer patients suggests a poor prognosis, the survival times of noncancer patients after its onset remain unclear. We herein investigated the time from a marked reduction in oral intake to death in noncancer patients as well as factors associated with their subsequent survival.
We conducted a retrospective medical record review of noncancer patients who died in our hospital between April 2017 and April 2018. We recorded the day when oral intake markedly decreased and the date of death. We extracted data on age, gender, the Charlson Comorbidities Index, mean daily fluid volume, laboratory test results, and vital signs converted to the Shock Index (SI). We used Cox’s proportional hazards models to assess relationships between these factors and survival times after the onset of a markedly reduced oral intake.
We analyzed data from 44 noncancer patients. The median time from the onset of a markedly reduced oral intake to death was 16.5 days. Based on Cox’s proportional hazards models, only SI ≧ 1.0 at the onset of a markedly reduced oral intake correlated with survival times (hazard ratio: 5.89, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.71-20.1,  = .005).
Noncancer patients died a median of 16.5 days after the onset of a markedly reduced oral intake, and SI ≧1.0 correlated with subsequent survival times. These results will provide novel insights into the prognosis of noncancer patients at the end of life.

© 2019 The Authors. Journal of General and Family Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Japan Primary Care Association.