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3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/03/2006   
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GLOSSARY

Adjusted births


Registered births adjusted by removing all stillbirths and neonatal deaths where birthweight was known to be less than 400 grams. This is the denominator used in calculating perinatal death rates in this publication. This adjustment is made in order to enable meaningful perinatal death rates to be calculated. See Explanatory Notes, paragraph 4.


Associated causes


All causes listed on a death certificate other than the underlying cause.


Country of birth


The classification of countries is the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC). For more detailed information refer to the Standard Australian of Countries (SACC)(cat.no.1269.0).


Death rates


Three forms of death rate are shown in the general deaths section in this publication. These are standardised death rates, age-specific death rates and infant death rates, as defined below:

  • Standardised death rates enable the comparison of death rates between populations with different age structures by relating them to a standard population, in this case all persons in the 2001 Australian population. They are expressed per 100,000 persons. The standardised death rate is the overall death rate that would have prevailed in the standard population if it had experienced at each age the death rates of the population under study - see tables 1.3, 1.8 and 1.9. The standardised death rates in this publication are calculated using both the direct method and indirect method.
      • The direct method - this is used when the populations under study are large and the age-specific death rates are reliable. It is the overall death rate that would have prevailed in the standard population if it had experienced at each age the death rates of the population under study.
      • The indirect method - this is used when the populations under study are small and the age-specific death rates are unreliable or not known. It is an adjustment to the crude death rate of the standard population to account for the variation between the actual number of deaths in the population under study and the number of deaths which would have occurred if the population under study had experienced the age-specific death rates of the standard population.
  • Age-specific death rates relate to deaths for age groups other than under one year and are the number of deaths per 100,000 of the mid-year estimated resident population as at 30 June of that year in a particular age/sex group - see table 1.2.
  • Infant death rates relate to deaths of children under one year of age and are the number of deaths per 1,000 live births in the year - see table 1.2.

For comparison and measuring purposes, perinatal deaths in this publication have also been expressed as rates. These rates are defined as follows:
  • for fetal deaths and total perinatal deaths, the rates represent the number of deaths per 1,000 total relevant births which comprises live births and fetal deaths combined (where birthweight was at least 400 grams).
  • for neonatal deaths, the rates represent the number of deaths per 1,000 live births (where birthweight was at least 400 grams).

Fetal death


A fetal death is the delivery of a child, who did not, at any time after delivery, breathe or show any other evidence of life such as a heartbeat. (A birthweight criterion applies. See Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 4-6).


ICD


International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. The purpose of the ICD is to permit the systematic recording, analysis, interpretation and comparison of mortality and morbidity data collected in different countries or areas and at different times. The ICD, which is endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is primarily designed for the classification of diseases and injuries with a formal diagnosis. See Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 11 to 17 and Appendix 4 for more information on ICD. Further information also is available from the WHO website <<www.who.int>>.


Infant death


The death of a child before its first birthday.


Live births


A live birth is the birth of a child, who, after delivery, breathes or shows any other evidence of life such as a heartbeat. (A birthweight criterion applies. See Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 6-8).


Multiple causes of death


All morbid conditions, diseases and injuries entered on the death certificate. These include those involved in the morbid train of events leading to death which were classified as either the underlying cause, the immediate cause, or any intervening causes and those conditions which contributed to death, but were not related to the disease or condition causing death. For deaths where the underlying cause was identified as an external cause (injury or poisoning) multiple causes include circumstances of injury, the nature of injury as well as any other conditions reported on the death certificate.


Neonatal death


A neonatal death is the death within 28 days of birth of any child who, after delivery, breathed or showed any other evidence of life such as a heartbeat. (A birthweight criterion applies. See Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 4-6).


Perinatal death


A perinatal death is a fetal death or neonatal death. (A birthweight criterion applies. See Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 4-6).


Period of gestation


Period of gestation is measured from the first day of the last normal menstrual period to the date of birth and is expressed in completed weeks.


Total Relevant Births


Total Relevant Births comprises live births and fetal deaths combined (where birthweight was at least 400 grams)


Stillbirth


See Fetal death.


Underlying cause of death


The disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death. Accidental and violent deaths are classified according to the external cause, that is, to the circumstances of the accident or violence which produced the fatal injury rather than to the nature of the injury.


Years of potential life lost (YPLL)


YPLL measures the extent of 'premature' mortality, where 'premature' mortality is assumed to be any death at ages of 1-78 years inclusive. By estimating YPLL for deaths of people aged 1-78 years it is possible to assess the significance of specific diseases or trauma as a cause of premature death. See Technical Note for an explanation of the calculation of YPLL.


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