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3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2006 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/03/2008   
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INTRODUCTION

Multiple causes of death include all causes and conditions reported on the death certificate (i.e. both underlying and associated causes; see Glossary for further details). Deaths due to External causes are those which occur as a result of accidents, poisonings and/or violence. They are classified according to the event, leading to the fatal injury, such as an accidental fall. Multiple cause data for External causes include the nature of injury or poisoning, as well as any other causes reported on the death certificate.



Number of Multiple Causes

For the 133,739 deaths registered in Australia in 2006, there were 424,796 causes mentioned, giving a mean of 3.2 causes per death. In 18% of all deaths, only one cause was reported, while 37% of deaths were reported with three or more causes. The mean number of causes reported per death varies with age, sex and underlying cause of death.



Selected Multiple Causes

In 2006, Cancers represented 29% of all underlying causes of death. For multiple causes, cancer accounted for 23% of all causes reported in 2006, and contributed to 33% of all deaths as an underlying or multiple cause.


A further 17% of all deaths had Ischaemic heart diseases as the underlying cause, but it was found to contribute to 28% of all deaths as either an underlying or multiple cause.


The following table lists selected causes of death, both underlying and associated causes, appearing on death certificates for deaths registered in 2006.

3.1 Selected Multiple Causes of Death(a) - 2006

Underlying Cause
Multiple Cause
Cause of death and ICD code
Number of deaths
% of total deaths
Number of deaths
% of total deaths
Mean no. of causes

All Causes
133 739
-
133 739
-
3.2
Malignant cancers (C00-D48)
38 721
29.0
44 054
32.9
2.5
Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25) include angina, heart attacks, blocked arteries of the heart
22 983
17.2
37 658
28.2
3.5
Strokes (I60-I69)
11 465
8.6
20 491
15.3
3.1
Dementia and Alzheimer's disease (F01-F03, G30)
6 542
4.9
17 165
12.8
3.0
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47) includes diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema
5 443
4.1
13 687
10.2
3.6
Diabetes (E10-E14)
3 662
2.7
12 832
9.6
4.3
Diseases of the kidney and urinary system (N00-N39)
3 192
2.4
17 647
13.2
3.8
Heart failure (I50, I51))
2 892
2.2
19 549
14.6
3.1
Influenza and pneumonia (J10-J18)
2 715
2.0
17 369
13.0
2.5
Hypertensive diseases (I10-I15)
1 495
1.1
17 296
12.9
4.5
Suicides (X60-X84)(b)
1 799
1.3
1 809
1.4
2.6
Land transport accidents (V01-V89)
1 580
1.2
1 626
1.2
2.8

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Number of deaths and percentages may add to more than totals because a death certificate can report more than one multiple cause.
(b) Care should be taken in interpreting numbers of suicide deaths due to limitations in the data. For further information, see Explanatory Notes 57-58 and 74-75.



Relationships between Multiple Causes

Cancer was identified as the underlying cause for 38,721 deaths. In 36% of cases, cancers were reported alone and was the least likely of the selected causes to be reported with other associated causes.


In contrast, Diabetes was reported alone as the underlying cause in only 1% of the 3,662 deaths attributed to this cause. It was reported more frequently with the associated causes of Ischaemic heart diseases including angina, heart attacks and blocked arteries of the heart (53%) and Hypertensive diseases (30%).


The following table illustrates relationships between the various causes of death in 2006.

3.2 Selected Underlying Causes with Associated Cause(a) - 2006

SELECTED UNDERLYING CAUSE
REPORTED WITH SELECTED ASSOCIATED CAUSE(b)
Total Deaths
Reported alone
Cancers (C00-D48)
Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25) (c)
Strokes (I60-I69)
Dementia & Alzheimer's disease (F01-F03, G30)
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47) (d)
Diabetes (E10-E14)
Diseases of the kidney & urinary system (N00-N39)
Heart failure (I50-I51)
Influenza and pneumonia (J10-J18)
Hypertensive diseases (I10-I15)
Cause of death and ICD code
no.
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

All Causes
133 739
18.4
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Cancers (C00-D48)
38 721
36.2
-
6.6
5.2
5.0
7.4
6.8
4.8
6.1
0.9
7.3
Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25) (c)
22 983
10.3
8.4
-
12.3
9.9
19.8
52.6
26.6
0.9
18.0
1.5
Strokes (I60-I69)
11 465
13.6
3.9
9.7
-
10.9
5.4
21.8
9.8
9.6
1.8
8.3
Dementia & Alzheimer's disease (F01-F03, G30)
6 542
12.8
2.8
10.5
16.7
-
8.2
13.7
14.3
12.1
8.7
19.3
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)(d)
5 443
7.0
6.2
10.4
4.0
2.9
-
6.3
6.3
9.7
1.1
7.4
Diabetes (E10-E14)
3 662
1.0
5.8
10.8
8.1
6.5
7.3
-
9.2
6.3
6.7
10.4
Diseases of the kidney & urinary system (N00-N39)
3 192
6.9
7.1
13.0
5.7
9.4
10.3
29.3
-
20.8
12.9
35.7
Heart failure (I50-I51)
2 892
13.3
3.9
27.5
6.3
7.7
17.2
21.8
23.2
-
11.5
40.6
Influenza and pneumonia (J10-J18)
2 715
27.2
7.4
5.4
13.3
35.6
33.5
8.0
11.1
19.6
-
8.6
Hypertensive diseases (I10-I15)
1 495
3.9
5.7
20.7
28.2
10.3
8.7
30.3
5.5
6.7
5.7
-

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) This table presents data for selected causes only. Therefore numbers of deaths do not add to total deaths.
(b) Percentages may add to more than 100% because a death certificate can report more than one multiple cause.
(c) Includes angina, heart attacks, and blocked arteries of the heart.
(d) Includes asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.



External Causes

In 2006, there were 7,840 deaths due to External causes, with a mean of 3.4 causes coded for each of these deaths.


Transport accidents accounted for 23% of all injuries due to External causes, with 42% of these injuries being to the head or thorax. Intentional self-harm1 accounted for 22% of total injuries due to External causes, and of these, Asphyixiation was the most common injury (41%).


1 Care should be taken in interpreting numbers of suicide deaths due to limitations in the data. For further information, see Explanatory Notes 57-58 and 74-75.


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