CAUSES OF DEATH
Statistics on causes of death are one of the oldest and most comprehensive set of health statistics available in Australia, and can provide insights into the impact of disease on Australian society. Causes of death are classified using the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). The data presented in this chapter relate to the underlying cause of death, which is the disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death. Other contributing causes and conditions reported on the death certificate are also recorded, but as associated causes. In accidental and violent deaths, the underlying cause is classified according to the circumstances of the accident or violence which produced the fatal injury, rather than to the nature of the injury.
In this chapter, 'Victorian deaths' relate to deaths of Victorian usual residents, regardless of where in Australia the death occurred and was registered, but also includes deaths registered in Victoria of persons usually resident overseas.
There were 33,930 Victorian deaths registered in Australia in 2007. This represented an increase of 158 deaths (0.5%) over the number registered in 2002. Almost 30% of deaths in 2007 were due to Cancer (Malignant neoplasms, ICD codes C00-C97) (29.5%, compared with 28.9% in 2002). The next most common underlying cause of death was Heart disease (ICD codes I05-I09, I11, I13, I20-I25, I27, I28, I30-I52) with 22.5% of deaths in 2007 (25.1% in 2002). Between 2002 and 2007, the number of deaths due to heart disease decreased by 10.0%, while deaths due to cancer increased by 2.7%. Stroke (Cerebrovascular diseases, ICD codes I60-I69), Diseases of the respiratory system (ICD codes J00-J99) and Suicide (Intentional self-harm, ICD codes X60-X84, Y87.0) were the underlying causes in 7.9%, 8.2% and 1.3% respectively of all deaths in 2007.
View underlying table as an Excel spreadsheet: 1367.2, Deaths, By Selected Underlying Cause and Statistical Subdivision (file size 62kB)