In previous studies of the mortality of deinstitutionalized persons with disabilities in California and Pennsylvania, investigators failed to employ a prospective controlled research design. We identified a sample of 150 “movers” scheduled for placement from an institution and a matched sample of 150 institutional “stayers.” The matching and other risk variables were measured in 1994. Visits to all residences occurred between 1997 and mid-2000 at specified intervals after movers left the institution. Logistic regression analyses identified the 1994 preclosure risk variables of age, low self-care, medical conditions, and epilepsy/seizure disorders as the best ones for explaining all deaths. Adding mover/stayer status and community/institutional placement to the analyses did not enhance the model. Nursing home placements emerged as a postclosure risk variable.

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