Australian Bureau of Statistics
3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2012 Quality Declaration
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/03/2014
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Death records are provided electronically and/or in paper form to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) by individual Registrars on a monthly basis. Each death record contains both demographic data and medical information from the Certificate of Cause of Perinatal Death where available. Information from coronial investigations are provided to the ABS through the National Coroners Information System (NCIS).
For further information on the institutional environment of the ABS, including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.
The ABS Causes of Death collection includes all perinatal deaths that occurred and were registered in Australia, including deaths of persons whose usual residence is overseas. Deaths of Australian residents that occurred outside Australia may be registered by individual Registrars, but are not included in ABS deaths or perinatal deaths statistics.
From the 2006 reference year, the scope of the perinatal death statistics includes all fetal deaths of at least 20 weeks' gestation or at least 400 grams birth weight, and all neonatal deaths (all live born babies who die within 28 days of birth, regardless of gestation or weight) which are:
Perinatal data presented in the Causes of Death publication include demographic items, as well as causes of death information, which is coded according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The ICD is the international standard classification for epidemiological purposes and is designed to promote international comparability in the collection, processing, classification, and presentation of cause of death statistics. The classification is used to classify diseases and causes of disease or injury as recorded on many types of medical records as well as death records. The ICD has been revised periodically to incorporate changes in the medical field. The 10th revision of ICD (ICD-10) is used for the 2012 data.
Causes of death statistics are released with a view to ensuring that they are fit for purpose when released. To meet user requirements for timely data it is often necessary to obtain information from the administrative source before all information for the reference period is available (e.g. finalisation of coronial proceedings). A balance needs to be maintained between accuracy (completeness) of data and timeliness, taking account of the different needs of users. To address the issues which arise through the publication of causes of death data for open coroners cases, these data are now subject to a revisions process. This process enables the use of additional information relating to coroner certified deaths either 12 or 24 months after initial processing. See Explanatory Notes 29-33 for further information on the revisions process.
The main sources of non-sample error for perinatal deaths data are:
The ABS has implemented a revisions process that applies to all coroner certified perinatal deaths registered after 1 January 2006. The revisions process enables the use of additional information relating to coroner certified perinatal deaths as it becomes available over time, resulting in increased specificity of the assigned ICD-10 codes. See Explanatory Notes 29-33 for further information on the revision process.
Use of the supporting documentation released with the statistics is important for assessing coherence within the dataset and when comparing the statistics with data from other sources. Changing business rules over time and/or across data sources can affect consistency and hence interpretability of statistical output. The Explanatory Notes in each issue contains information pertinent to the particular release which may impact on comparison over time.
Perinatal Deaths, Australia contains detailed Explanatory Notes, an Appendix and Glossary that provide information on the data sources, terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.
In addition to the information provided in the commentary, a series of data cubes are also available providing detailed breakdowns by cause of death. The ABS observes strict confidentiality protocols as required by the Census and Statistics Act (1905). This may restrict access to data at a very detailed level which is sought by some users.
If the information you require is not available from the commentary or the data cubes, then the ABS may also have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
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This page last updated 24 March 2014