Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Catalogue Number
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2012 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/03/2014   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

TECHNICAL NOTE 2 CAUSES OF DEATH REVISIONS PROCESS


OVERVIEW

1 There have been two process improvements implemented by the ABS in recent years which have improved the quality of data, with the biggest improvements seen in the external cause chapter and for coroner certified deaths. These processes were both implemented for the 2008 reference year. The first was a revisions process outlined in Explanatory Notes 29-33 and the second was in relation to the use of additional information from the medical certificate cause of death and from information stored within reports on the NCIS, see Explanatory Notes 56-67 for further information. The following technical note outlines the impact of these two processes.

2 Previous publications of Causes of Death, Australia indicated that all coroner certified deaths registered after 1 January 2007 are now subject to a revisions process. Data are deemed preliminary when published for the first time, revised when published the following year and final when published two years after initial publication. In order to improve the quality of historical data, the 2006 reference year data has also been revised (see Technical Notes, Causes of Death Revisions, 2006 in the Causes of Death, Australia, 2010 release). Therefore in the current release 2006 to 2010 data are final, 2011 data are revised, and 2012 data are preliminary. The 2011 and 2012 data will be subject to further revisions. Data for the 2006 reference year has not been included for analysis in this technical note because the revisions process was different to that of the 2007-2011 reference years.


PRELIMINARY CODING

3 Table 1 illustrates preliminary, revised and final data for the 2010 reference year, for deaths certified by a coroner, by selected causes. Data are presented by the number of deaths allocated to codes which have no specificity of cause (R99), mechanism (X59, X84 and Y09) or intent (Y10-Y34) (whether the injury was inflicted purposefully or not). As indicated in Table 1, the number of deaths coded to these ill-defined causes decreases as they progress through the revisions process and are assigned more specific codes.



TABLE 1: SELECTED CAUSES OF DEATH, DEATHS CERTIFIED BY A CORONER - PRELIMINARY, REVISED AND FINAL DATA, AUSTRALIA, 2010

2010 reference year
Change (prelim to final)
P
R
F
Cause of death and ICD-10 code
no
no
no
no
%

R99
504
367
334
-170
-33.7%
X59, X84, Y09
93
89
54
-39
-41.9%
Y10-Y34
680
454
306
-374
-55.0%

IMPACT OF REVISIONS

4 Table 2 provides information on the impact of the revisions process for the 2010 reference year at the ICD-10 chapter level. As expected, the chapter to record the greatest change in the 2010 reference year is Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00-R99), which decreased by 160 deaths from preliminary to final coding. The cause of death codes in this chapter are considered to be 'ill-defined', such that deaths are coded to this chapter in the absence of information which would enable a more specific code to be applied. As the status of coroner cases moves from open to closed, and more information becomes available to the ABS for the coding of these deaths, R00-R99 deaths are able to be coded to more specific causes. The bulk of the 160 deaths from this chapter were re-coded to External causes of morbidity and mortality (V01-Y98) through the revisions process. This chapter increased by 106 deaths (1.2%) from preliminary to final coding for the 2010 reference year.

TABLE 2 - CAUSES OF DEATH REVISIONS , (PRELIMINARY, REVISED, FINAL) - by ICD-10 chapter - 2010 reference year

2010 reference year
Change (prelim to final)
P
R
F
Cause of death and ICD-10 code
no
no
no
no
%

Certain infectious and parasitic diseases (A00-B99)
2 148
2 150
2 153
5
0.2
Neoplasms (C00-D48)
43 298
43 310
43 310
12
0.0
Diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs and certain disorders involving the immune mechanism D50-D89
408
410
410
2
0.5
Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (E00-E90)
5 704
5 710
5 714
10
0.2
Mental and behavioural disorders (F00-F99)
7 030
7 030
7 035
5
0.1
Diseases of the nervous system (G00-G99)
6 206
6 213
6 212
6
0.1
Diseases of the circulatory system (I00-I99)
45 499
45 520
45 501
2
0.0
Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-J99)
11 949
11 961
11 963
14
0.1
Diseases of the digestive system (K00-K93)
5 125
5 120
5 115
-10
-0.2
Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (L00-L99)
399
398
398
-1
-0.3
Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue (MOO-M99)
1 180
1 179
1 181
1
0.1
Diseases of the genitourinary system (N00-N99)
3 399
3 400
3 399
0
0.0
Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period (P00-P96)
616
615
616
0
0.0
Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities (Q00-Q99)
605
610
610
5
0.8
Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00-R99)
972
847
812
-160
-16.5
External causes of morbidity and mortality (V01-Y98)
8 918
8 981
9 024
106
1.2
Total(a)
143 473
143 473
143 473
0
0.0

(a) Includes deaths coded to H00-H59, H60-H95, and O00-O99.



5 Table 3 shows a comparison of change, from preliminary to final, for 2007 to 2010. As above, the largest change is seen in the number of deaths attributed to Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00-R99). Over time there has been a gradual decline in the size of the percentage decrease in the change between preliminary and final data for this chapter, which indicates that more specific codes have been allocated in preliminary coding.

TABLE 3 - CAUSES OF DEATH REVISIONS, by selected ICD-10 chapter - changes from preliminary to final data: by percentage - 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010

2007
2008
2009
2010
Cause of death and ICD-10 code
%
%
%
%

Certain infectious and parasitic diseases (A00-B99)
-0.1
1.8
0.3
0.2
Neoplasms (C00-D48)
0.1
0.0
0.0
0.0
Diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs and certain disorders involving the immune mechanism D50-D89
0.8
0.2
0.2
0.5
Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (E00-E90)
0.5
-0.2
0.3
0.2
Mental and behavioural disorders (F00-F99)
-0.4
-0.5
-0.1
0.1
Diseases of the nervous system (G00-G99)
0.3
0.4
0.1
0.1
Diseases of the circulatory system (I00-I99)
0.7
0.4
0.2
0.0
Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-J99)
0.4
0.1
0.0
0.1
Diseases of the digestive system (K00-K93)
0.9
0.6
0.1
-0.2
Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (L00-L99)
0.6
-0.5
0.8
-0.3
Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue (MOO-M99)
1.3
-0.7
0.0
0.1
Diseases of the genitourinary system (N00-N99)
0.2
0.4
0.1
0.0
Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period (P00-P96)
1.6
0.2
-0.3
0.0
Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities (Q00-Q99)
3.7
0.8
0.9
0.8
Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00-R99)
-46.4
-31.4
-29.9
-16.5
External causes of morbidity and mortality (V01-Y98)
4.3
1.1
2.1
1.2


6 While the revisions process has a minimal impact at the overall chapter level (with the exception of Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00-R99)), significant data improvements become more apparent when considering movements within individual chapters. Table 4 provides information on the impact of revisions on 2010 data at the sub-chapter level, mainly for the External causes of morbidity and mortality (V01-Y98) chapter. The following causes of death see notable reductions:
  • Event of undetermined intent (Y10-Y34) (-374 deaths);
  • Other ill-defined and unspecified causes of mortality (R99) (-170 deaths);
  • Occupant of pick-up truck or van injured in transport accident (V50-V59) (-43 deaths) (see discussion below); and
  • Other land transport accidents (V80-V89) (-31 deaths).

Notable increases include:
  • Accidental poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances (X40-X49) (149 deaths);
  • Car occupant injured in transport accident (V40-V49) (134 deaths);
  • Intentional self-harm (X60-X84) (119 deaths);
  • Falls (W00-W19) (43 deaths); and
  • Assault (X85-Y09) (41 deaths).

The revisions process not only enables an improvement in the specificity of causes of death codes that can be applied to deaths, but also enables coding improvements to be applied to open cases. For example, Tables 3 and 4, below, show a decrease in the number of deaths due to Occupant of pick-up truck or van injured in transport accident (V50-V59) in the 2010 reference year. This cause decreased by 65.2% when comparing preliminary (66 deaths) and final (23 deaths) data for the 2010 reference year. This decrease is due to an improvement in quality assurance measures, which resulted in the more accurate coding of these transport accident deaths involving a utility vehicle to Car occupant injured in transport accident (V40-V49).

TABLE 4: CAUSES OF DEATH REVISIONS (PRELIMINARY, REVISED, FINAL), by ICD-10 selected causes - 2010

2010
Change (preliminary to final)
Preliminary
Revised
Final
Cause of death and ICD-10 code
no.
no.
no.
no
%

Sudden infant death syndrome (R95)
81
96
95
14
17.3
Other ill-defined and unspecified causes of mortality (R99)
567
430
397
-170
-30.0
Pedestrian injured in transport accident (V01-V09)
227
235
244
17
7.5
Pedal cyclist injured in transport accident (V10-V19)
39
40
39
0
0.0
Motorcycle rider injured in transport accident (V20-V29)
236
244
252
16
6.8
Car occupant injured in transport accident (V40-V49)
706
749
840
134
19.0
Occupant of pick-up truck or van injured in transport accident (V50-V59)
66
73
23
-43
-65.2
Occupant of heavy transport vehicle injured in transport accident (V60-V69)
28
31
32
4
14.3
Other land transport accidents (V80-V89)
108
95
77
-31
-28.7
Water transport accidents (V90-V94)
43
46
48
5
11.6
Air and space transport accidents (V95-V97)
24
26
26
2
8.3
Falls (W00-W19)
1 648
1 670
1 691
43
2.6
Exposure to inanimate mechanical forces (W20-W49)
88
95
88
0
0.0
Accidental drowning and submersion (W65-W74)
221
226
222
1
0.5
Other accidental threats to breathing (W75-W84)
213
212
214
1
0.5
Exposure to smoke, fire and flames (X00-X09)
58
67
71
13
22.4
Exposure to forces of nature (X30-X39)
44
44
46
2
4.5
Accidental poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances (X40-X49)
864
958
1 013
149
17.2
Accidental exposure to other and unspecified factors (X58-X59)
616
611
608
-8
-1.3
Intentional self-harm (X60-X84)(a)
2 359
2 418
2 478
119
5.0
Assault (X85-Y09)
217
244
258
41
18.9
Event of undetermined intent (Y10-Y34)
680
454
306
-374
-55.0
Drugs, medicaments and biological substances causing adverse effects in therapeutic use (Y40-Y59)
75
75
73
-2
-2.7
Surgical and other medical procedures as the cause of abnormal reaction of the patient, or of later complication, without mention of misadventure at the time of the procedure (Y83-Y84)
177
184
183
6
3.4
Sequelae of external causes of morbidity and mortality (Y85-Y89)
122
124
125
3
2.5


(a) Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to suicide. See Explanatory Notes 92-94.


8 Table 5 shows the percentage change between preliminary and final data for 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 data at the sub-chapter level. Some notable changes due to the revisions process include:
  • Deaths due to Intentional self-harm (X60-X84), which had the highest increase in deaths from preliminary to final coding for the 2007 reference year with an increase of 18.5% (347 deaths), to a smaller increase of 5.0% (119 deaths) from preliminary to final 2010 reference year coding.
  • Deaths due to Assault (X85-Y09), which increased by 33.3% (54 deaths) from preliminary to final coding for the 2007 reference year. This cause increased by 18.9% (41 deaths) from preliminary to final coding for the 2010 reference year.
  • As expected, ill-defined codes, such as Other ill-defined and unspecified causes of mortality (R99) and Event of undetermined intent (Y10-Y34) have seen the greatest percentage decrease from preliminary to final data for most reference years.

TABLE 5 - Cause of Death Revisions, by ICD-10 selected causes - Percentage change between preliminary and final data - 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010

Cause of death and ICD-10 code
2007
2008
2009
2010

Sudden infant death syndrome (R95)
15.5
30.5
21.8
17.3
Other ill-defined and unspecified causes of mortality (R99)
-68.1
-46.5
-51.3
-30.0
Pedestrian injured in transport accident (V01-V09)
26.9
24.6
25.3
7.5
Pedal cyclist injured in transport accident (V10-V19)
32.4
16.7
5.7
0.0
Motorcycle rider injured in transport accident (V20-V29)
25.0
19.5
14.7
6.8
Car occupant injured in transport accident (V40-V49)
20.8
11.7
14.8
19.0
Occupant of pick-up truck or van injured in transport accident (V50-V59)
39.6
102.9
36.2
-65.2
Occupant of heavy transport vehicle injured in transport accident (V60-V69)
56.3
26.8
10.0
14.3
Other land transport accidents (V80-V89)
84.5
3.7
-34.6
-28.7
Water transport accidents (V90-V94)
16.1
15.6
37.1
11.6
Air and space transport accidents (V95-V97)
47.2
9.1
22.2
8.3
Falls (W00-W19)
12.4
8.4
5.8
2.6
Exposure to inanimate mechanical forces (W20-W49)
30.5
17.6
0.0
0.0
Accidental drowning and submersion (W65-W74)
4.4
15.7
9.9
0.5
Other accidental threats to breathing (W75-W84)
4.1
7.7
5.5
0.5
Exposure to smoke, fire and flames (X00-X09)
24.1
16.7
4.1
22.4
Exposure to forces of nature (X30-X39)
5.8
3.4
4.9
4.5
Accidental poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances (X40-X49)
32.7
40.8
25.7
17.2
Accidental exposure to other and unspecified factors (X58-X59)
-18.2
-12.3
-1.1
-1.3
Intentional self-harm (X60-X84)(a)
18.5
6.8
9.6
5.0
Assault (X85-Y09)
33.3
23.6
29.5
18.9
Event of undetermined intent (Y10-Y34)
-66.7
-57.7
-60.7
-55.0
Drugs, medicaments and biological substances causing adverse effects in therapeutic use (Y40-Y59)
1.7
6.3
-1.7
-2.7
Surgical and other medical procedures as the cause of abnormal reaction of the patient, or of later complication,
without mention of misadventure at the time of the procedure (Y83-Y84)
-2.1
-3.2
6.4
3.4
Sequelae of external causes of morbidity and mortality (Y85-Y89)
2.1
-1.9
-3.8
2.5

(a) Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to suicide. See Explanatory Notes 92-94.


Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.