Forensic autopsies of elderly patients

Cesar R. De-La-Arena-Navarro, Santiago Crespo-Alonso, Josep Castellá-García, Gabriel Martí-Amengual, Jordi Medallo-Muñiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Introduction Comorbidity is common in people over 65 years, where the confluence of multiple factors can be the cause of death. The aim of this study is to know the profile and the causes of death in a series of judicial autopsies of elderly persons in Barcelona. Material and methods Descriptive and retrospective study of the judicial autopsies of persons aged 65 years or more that were performed at the Forensic Pathology Service of Barcelona of the Institute of Legal Medicine of Catalonia between October 2010 and September 2011. Results Among 1494 autopsies performed, 641 (42.9%) were from people aged 65 years or more (63.8% men and 36.2% women). Among them, 179 (28%) were violent deaths (57% accidents, 31.3% suicides, 8.4% undetermined and 3.4% homicides). A toxicological analysis was performed in 277 cases and the substances more commonly found were ethanol in 34 cases (12.8%) and antidepressants in 30 (11.3%). Conclusions The information provided by the forensic autopsies of persons aged 65 years or more is more clinical than judicial. © 2013 Asociación Nacional de Médicos Forenses. Published by Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-53
JournalRevista Espanola de Medicina Legal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Death cerfiticate
  • Death in the elderly
  • Forensic pathology
  • Judicial autopsy


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