Australian Bureau of Statistics
3303.0.55.001 - Causes of Death, Australia: Doctor Certified Deaths, Summary Tables, 2011 Quality Declaration
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/11/2012
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4 Reportable deaths that were certified by a coroner will be included in the full Causes of Death, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0) publication to be released in 2013. This publication will present causes of death for all deaths in 2011, whether certified by a doctor or coroner.
11 The scope of the statistics excludes:
12 The scope for each reference year of death registrations includes:
13 Death records received by ABS during the March quarter 2012 which were initially registered in 2011 (but for which registration was not fully completed until 2012) were assigned to the 2011 reference year. Any registrations relating to 2011 which were received by ABS from April 2012 were assigned to the 2012 reference year. Approximately 4% to 6% of deaths occurring in one year are not registered until the following year or later.
14 Prior to 2007, the scope for the reference year of the Death Registrations collection included:
Coverage of causes of death statistics
15 Ideally, for compiling annual time series, the number of events (deaths) should be recorded and reported as those occurring within a given reference period such as a calendar year. However, due to lags in registration of events, not all deaths are registered in the year that they occur. Therefore, the occurrence event is approximated by the ABS through the addition of the event on a state/territory register of deaths. Also, some additions to the register can be delayed in being received by the ABS from a Registrar (processing or data transfer lags).
In effect there are 3 dates attributable to each death registration:
16 A range of socio-demographic data are available from the ABS Causes of Death - Doctor Certified collection. Standard classifications used in the presentation of causes of death statistics include age, sex, birthplace, multiple birth and Indigenous status. Statistical standards for social and demographic variables have been developed by the ABS. Where these are not published in the Causes of Death publication or data cubes, they can be sourced on request from the ABS.
Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)
17 The ABS has developed a new standard classification for geography, the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). The ASGS provides a common framework of statistical geography and thereby enables the production of statistics which are comparable and can be spatially integrated. ABS causes of death statistics are coded to mesh blocks and can be produced for aggregates of these, for example, Statistical Areas, Sections of State and State. The ASGS has been applied to causes of death data for the 2011 reference period. For further information about the ASGS refer to Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).
18. Prior to 2011, causes of death data were coded to the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). For further information about the ASGC refer to Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (cat. no. 1216.0).
19. Statistics for doctor certified deaths for the 2011 reference period coded to the ASGC are available on request.
International Classification of Diseases (ICD)
20 The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is the international standard classification for epidemiological purposes and is designed to promote international comparability in the collection, processing, classification, and presentation of causes 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. Currently ICD 10th revision is used for Australian causes of death statistics.
21 ICD-10 is a variable-axis classification meaning that the classification does not group diseases only based on anatomical sites, but also on the type of disease. Epidemiological data and statistical data are grouped according to:
23 For further information about the ICD refer to WHO International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
24 The ICD 10th Revision is also available online.
2010 MORTALITY CODING
25 The extensive nature of the ICD enables classification of causes of death at various levels of detail. In this publication, data is presented at the ICD-10 chapter level, as well as 3 character codes.
26 To enable the reader to see the relationship between the various summary classifications used in this publication, all tables show in brackets the ICD-10 codes which constitute the causes of death covered.
Updates to ICD-10
27 The Updating and Revision Committee (URC), a WHO advisory group on updates to ICD-10, maintains the cumulative and annual lists of approved updates to the ICD-10 classification. The updates to ICD-10 are of numerous types including addition and deletion of codes, changes to coding instructions and modification and clarification of terms.
28 The cumulative list of ICD-10 updates can be found online.
29 The ABS uses the Medical Mortality Data System (MMDS), software for automated cause of death coding. The MMDS applies ICD rules to all death records, diseases and conditions listed on the death certificate. Approximately 70-80% of records are coded using the MMDS without manual intervention.
State and Territory Data
30 Causes of death statistics for states and territories in this publication have been compiled in respect of the state or territory of usual residence of the deceased, regardless of where in Australia the death occurred and was registered. Deaths of persons usually resident overseas which occur in Australia are included in the state/territory in which their death was registered.
31 Statistics compiled on a state or territory of registration basis are available on request.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths
32 The ABS Death Registrations collection identifies a death as being Indigenous where the deceased is identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin through the death registration process. Detailed explanatory notes regarding the data quality of this variable can be found in Explanatory Notes 29-38 of the Deaths, Australia, 2010 (cat no. 3302.0) publication.
DEATHS BY TYPE OF CERTIFIER
33 For deaths registered in 2011, 88.5% were certified by a doctor. The remainder were reported to, and certified by, a coroner.
SPECIFIC ISSUES FOR 2011 DATA
34 As outlined below, the following issues should be taken into account by users when analysing the 2011 doctor certified causes of death data.
35 Dementia (F01,F03)
Since 2006, there has been a substantial increase in the number of deaths coded to Dementia (F01,F03). Updates to the coding instructions in ICD-10 has resulted in the assignment of some deaths shifting from Cerebrovascular diseases (I60-I69) to Vascular dementia (F01). In addition, changes to the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 and Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004, and a subsequent promotional campaign targeted at health professionals, now allow for death from vascular dementia of veterans or members of the defence forces to be related to relevant service. This is believed to have had an effect on the number of deaths attributed to dementia.
36 Increased number of deaths, New South Wales
In September quarter 2011 the high number of death registrations in New South Wales was queried with the New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Information provided by the Registry indicates that these fluctuations may be the result of changes in processing rates. This may have contributed to the increase in the number of death registrations for New South Wales in 2011. New South Wales deaths in 2011 (50,661) were 5.7% higher than in 2010 (47,945).
CONFIDENTIALISATION OF DATA
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This page last updated 20 November 2012