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3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2008 Quality Declaration 
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TECHNICAL NOTE 3 2007 REVISIONS


INTRODUCTION

1 All coroner certified deaths registered after 1 January 2007 are now subject to the Causes of Death (COD) revisions process. See Technical Note 2: Causes of Death - Revisions Process. Revisions were first applied to the 2007 reference year. Prior to the implementation of the revisions process, cause of death statistics were not revised after publication. This was the case even if a coronial enquiry was later finalised.

2 The 2007 revisions process was limited to all cases which moved from open to closed during the 12 months following preliminary coding. Processing for preliminary and revised data for the future will investigate all cases, open and closed Technical Note 1: 2008 COD Collection - Process Improvements.

3 The 2007 revisions process only impacted on coroner certified deaths. 2007 (revised) data has been published in this release on a reference year basis. In 2011, after a second application of the COD revisions process, 2007 (final) data will be released in the 2009 Causes of Death publication.


RESULTS OF THE 2007 REVISIONS PROCESS

4 During the 2007 revisions period, 1,614 coronial cases moved from open to closed, and 1,172 coroner certified records were recoded to a potentially more specific underlying cause of death.

5 Table 1 shows the impact of the revisions on the 2007 coroner certified data at ICD-10 chapter level. Overall, the 2007 revisions process resulted in 476 records changing from Ill-defined causes (R00-R99). This was a 38% reduction in causes of death recorded in the Ill-defined causes (R00-R99) category.

6 Of the records that moved from Ill-defined (R00-R99) to more specific codes, 192 moved to Diseases of the circulatory system (I00-I99), 43 to Intentional self-harm [Suicide] (X60-X84, Y87.0) and 76 to Other external causes of accidental injury (W00-X59). Of the 273 records which moved from Undetermined intent (Y10-Y34, Y87.2), 123 moved to Suicide (X60-X84, X87.0) and 85 to Transport accidents (V01-V99, Y85).

7 All chapters with the exception of Diseases of the eye and adnexa (H00-H59) and Diseases of the ear and mastoid process (H60-H95), (and Ill defined causes (R00-R99)) increased in number as a result of COD Revisions.

TABLE 1 - CORONER CERTIFIED DEATHS, by ICD-10 chapter - 2007 Preliminary and revised(a)(b): Number and Percentage change

Preliminary (Before revision)
Revised (After revision)
Change (Preliminary to Revised)
Change (Preliminary to Revised)
Cause of death and ICD Code
no
no
no
%

Infectious Diseases (A00-B99)
99
103
4
4.0
Cancer (C00-D48)
635
653
18
2.8
Blood and Immunity Disorders (D50-D89)
28
30
2
7.1
Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (E00-E90)
307
319
12
3.9
Mental and behavioural disorders (F00-F99)
236
237
1
0.4
Diseases of the nervous system (G00-G99)
281
288
7
2.5
Diseases of the eye and adnexa and Diseases of the ear and mastoid process (H00-H95)
4
2
-2
-50.0
Diseases of the heart and blood vessels (I00-I99)
6 053
6 248
195
3.2
Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-J99)
637
656
19
3.0
Diseases of the digestive system (K00-K93)
589
619
30
5.1
Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (L00-L99)
13
14
1
7.7
Diseases of the muscles, bones and tendons (M00-M99)
58
59
1
1.7
Diseases of the kidney, urinary system and genitals (N00-N99)
89
92
3
3.4
Pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium (O00-O99)
5
6
1
20.0
Conditions originating in the perinatal period (P00-P96)
37
39
2
5.4
Congenital and chromosomal abnormalities (Q00-Q99)
73
81
8
11.0
Ill defined causes (R00-R99)
1 264
788
-476
-37.7
External causes (V01-Y98)
6 444
6 617
173
2.7
All Causes
16 851
16 851
-
-

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) 2007 data are revised and subject to a further revisions process. See Technical Note 3: 2007 Revisions for further information.
(b) Data cells with small values have been randomly assigned to protect the confidentiality of individuals. As a result, some totals will not equal to the sum of their components.


8 Table 2 shows the impact of the COD revisions process on the 2007 data for selected causes. The largest movements were:
  • the number of records coded to Suicides (X60-X84, Y87.0) increased by 173
  • the number of records coded to Transport accidents (V01-V99, Y85) increased by 116
  • the number of records coded to Accidental poisonings (X40-X49) increased by 70
  • the number of records coded to Falls (W00-W19) increased by 33
  • the number of records coded to Assaults (X85-Y09, Y87.1) increased by 30.

9 The greatest movement among External cause codes due to the revisions process was the increase in the number of deaths coded to Suicide from 1,881 (2007 preliminary) to 2,054 (2007 revised), an increase of 173 deaths (9.2%).

TABLE 2: CORONDER CERTIFIED DEATHS, Selected causes - 2007 Preliminary and revised(a)(b): Number and Percentage change

Preliminary (Before revision)
Revised (After revision)
Change (Preliminary to Revised)
Change (Preliminary to Revised)
Cause of death and ICD Code
no
no
no
%

Sudden infant death syndrome (R95)
71
83
12
16.9
Other ill-defined and unspecified causes of mortality (R99)
1 160
675
-485
-41.8
Transport accidents (V01-V99, Y85)
1 342
1 458
116
8.6
Falls (W00-W19)
695
728
33
4.7
Accidental drowning and submersion (W65-W74)
183
186
3
1.6
Exposure to smoke, fire and flames (X00-X09)
57
63
6
10.5
Accidental poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances (X40-X49)
534
604
70
13.1
Intentional self-harm (X60-X84, Y87.0)(b)
1 881
2 054
173
9.2
Assault (X85-Y09, Y87.1)
164
194
30
18.3
Event of Undetermined intent (Y10-Y34, Y87.2)
1 092
830
-262
-24.0
Other external causes of mortality (X60-Y36)
3 136
3 079
-57
-1.8
All Causes
16 851
16 851
-
-

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) 2007 data are revised and subject to a further revisions process. See Technical Note 3: 2007 Revisions for further information.
(b) Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to suicide due to limitations of data, see Explanatory Notes 72-75.


10 Table 3 shows the movement between selected causes from 2007 (preliminary) underlying cause of death to 2007 (revised) underlying cause of death. The largest movements were between Other ill-defined and unspecified causes of mortality (R99), Diseases of the circulatory system (I00-I99); and Undetermined intent (Y10-Y34, Y87.2) and Suicide (X60-X84, Y87.0). Table 3 also highlights the movements in codes within chapters for these selected causes.

Table 3: Coroner cases, Preliminary and revised underlying cause of death - Selected causes - 2007 (a)(b)

Preliminary 2007 ICD-10 Code(c)
Revised 2007 ICD-10 code
Other ill-defined and unspecified causes of mortality (R99)
Transport accidents (V01-V99, Y85)
Other external causes of accidental injury (W00-X59)
Suicide (X60-X84,Y87.0)
Assault (X85-Y09,Y87.1)
Undetermined intent (Y10-Y34, Y87.2)
Total

Diseases of the circulatory sytem (I00-I99)
192
2
4
-
-
-
272
Ill defined causes (R00-R98, excludes R99)
12
-
-
-
-
-
13
Transport accidents (V01-V99, Y85)
19
70
18
-
-
85
202
Other external causes of accidental injury (W00-X59)
76
3
42
-
-
49
192
Suicide (X60-X84, Y87.0)(d)
43
1
5
75
-
123
248
Assault (X85-Y09, Y87.1)
4
11
2
-
10
13
39
Undetermined intent (Y10-Y34, Y87.2)
7
3
4
-
-
7
18
Total(c)
480
87
74
75
10
280
1 172

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) 2007 data are revised and subject to a further revisions process. See Technical Note 3: 2007 Revisions for further information
(b) Data cells with small values have been randomly assigned to protect the confidentiality of individuals. As a result, some totals will not equal to the sum of their components. Cells with a zero value have not been affected by confidentialisation.
(c) Includes all causes of death.
(d) Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to suicide due to limitations of data, see Explanatory Notes 72-75.



IMPACT OF THE REVISIONS PROCESS ON EXTERNAL CAUSES OF DEATH DATA

11 The revisions process applied to 2007 (preliminary) data has increased the number of deaths coded to Suicide by 173. See tables 2, 3 and 5 in this Technical Note for further information relating to the impact of the revisions process on Suicide deaths.

12 Table 4 presents data on 2007 open coroner cases (preliminary and revised) with an external cause of death by mechanism of death. This is presented to provide information on the impact of the revisions process on these data.

Table 4 - Open coroner cases, External causes of death by mechanism - 2007 Preliminary and Revised, (a)(b): State and territory of registration(c)

Hanging
Falls
Poisoning
Drowning
Transport Accidents
Firearms
Sharp Objects
Other and Unspecified
Total

Preliminary 2007

NSW
88
27
92
41
54
22
6
185
515
Vic
60
40
74
11
68
14
15
168
450
Qld
179
19
88
31
143
47
21
262
790
SA
21
10
26
4
29
9
5
26
130
WA
25
8
29
7
94
3
5
31
202
Tas
3
3
8
-
9
2
1
9
35
NT
7
4
4
1
29
3
3
11
62
ACT
1
1
1
1
1
-
1
4
10
Aust
384
112
322
96
427
100
57
696
2 194

Revised 2007

NSW
100
30
100
40
73
25
5
184
557
Vic
52
35
65
7
64
13
15
147
398
Qld
40
10
32
9
65
21
3
44
224
SA
10
5
16
2
15
5
1
19
73
WA
21
3
18
4
46
3
5
28
128
Tas
2
-
7
-
7
3
2
4
25
NT
3
2
1
4
18
2
1
6
37
ACT
1
4
1
3
-
-
3
2
10
Aust
228
87
244
64
288
71
34
436
1 452

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) 2007 data are revised and subject to a further revisions process. See Technical Note 3: 2007 Revisions for further information
(b) For 2007 preliminary data, some data have moved between originally published mechanism categories due to a more specific code allocation in the processing of 2008 data.
(c) Data cells with small values have been randomly assigned to protect the confidentiality of individuals. As a result, some totals will not equal to the sum of their components. Cells with a zero value have not been affected by confidentialisation.


13 Table 5 presents open coroner cases (preliminary and revised) with an external cause of death by intent ie. accidental, intentional self-harm (Suicide), assault (homicide) or undetermined.

Table 5 - Open coroner deaths, External causes by intent(a)(b) - 2007 Preliminary and Revised, State and territory of registration (c)

Accident
Suicide(d)
Assault
Undetermined
Other
Total

Preliminary 2007

NSW
195
55
8
252
5
515
Vic
130
85
24
205
6
450
Qld
227
161
19
377
6
790
SA
61
39
13
16
3
130
WA
136
29
16
20
3
202
Tas
23
5
2
4
2
35
NT
42
10
6
2
-
62
ACT
7
-
3
4
-
10
Aust
821
384
91
878
20
2 194

Revised 2007

NSW
223
73
9
246
6
557
Vic
116
76
23
179
4
398
Qld
93
77
9
44
1
224
SA
31
20
11
10
1
73
WA
75
20
16
16
1
128
Tas
16
4
3
3
1
25
NT
30
6
2
-
1
37
ACT
7
-
3
4
4
10
Aust
591
276
73
498
14
1 452

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) 2007 data are revised and subject to a further revisions process. See Technical Note 3: 2007 Revisions for further information.
(b) For 2007 preliminary data, some data have moved between originally published intent categories due to a more specific code allocation in the processing of 2008 data.
(c) Data cells with small values have been randomly assigned to protect the confidentiality of individuals. As a result, some totals will not equal to the sum of their components. Cells with a zero value have not been affected by confidentialisation.
(d) Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to Suicide due to limitations of data, see Explanatory Notes 72-75.



OPEN AND CLOSED CASES

14 Table 6 shows the number of 2007 open and closed coroner certified records on the ABS processing system before and after the application of the 2007 revisions process. The number of open coronial cases reduced from 5,128 to 3,017 over the 12 month period. This means a total of 1,614 cases moved from open to closed between January 2009 and January 2010. This is larger than the overall number of cases which were revised through the ABS revision process (1,172), due to the underlying cause of death not being changed by coroners for some open cases which moved to a status of closed.

15 The number of closed cases for the New South Wales jurisdiction has decreased. This is due to a difference in the methodology used for generating these figures. For 2007 preliminary data, the numbers were obtained from NCIS directly as the ABS did not record case status on the Mortality system at that stage. The figures for 2007 revised data were derived from ABS Mortality system. Although these numbers should match, the difference can be explained by:
  • the wrong coroner case originally being attributed to a record
  • not being able to match to NCIS due to errors in spelling of names or date of birth or death
  • incorrect calculation of closed vs open cases in 2007 preliminary due to different methodology.

Table 6: Coroner case status, 2007 Preliminary and revised(a) - State and territory of registration(b)

2007 Preliminary (before revision)
2007 Revised (after revision)
Open
Closed
Total
Closed cases as % of total
Open
Closed
Other(c)
Total
Closed cases as % of total
no.
no.
no.
%
no.
no.
no.
no.
%

NSW
1 420
3 595
5 015
72
1 410
3 555
50
5 015
71
VIC
783
3 388
4 171
81
666
3 487
18
4 171
84
QLD
2 150
825
2 975
28
502
2 068
405
2 975
70
SA
274
1 593
1 867
85
159
1 703
5
1 867
91
WA
318
1 416
1 734
82
183
1 548
4
1 734
89
TAS
63
384
447
86
30
404
13
447
90
NT
85
228
313
73
47
265
1
313
85
ACT
35
294
329
89
20
307
2
329
93
Australia
5 128
11 723
16 851
70
3 017
13 337
497
16 851
79

(a) 2007 data are revised and subject to a further revisions process. See Technical Note 3: 2007 Revisions for further information
(b) Data cells with small values have been randomly assigned to protect the confidentiality of individuals. As a result, some totals will not equal to the sum of their components. Cells with a zero value have not been affected by confidentialisation.
(c) 'Other' includes cases with status of 'blank', 'not stated' and 'not applicable'


16 Table 7 shows the remaining number of open coroner certified cases for 2007 by type of cause, after the application of the revision process. These remaining 3,017 open cases will be subject to a second round of COD revisions as part of the 2009 causes of death processing.

Table 7: Remaining open cases, Type of cause - State and territory of registration: 2007 Revised(a)(b)

Natural Causes(c)
External Causes(d)
Unknown Causes(e)
Total

NSW
694
557
159
1 410
VIC
264
398
4
666
QLD
189
224
89
502
SA
57
73
29
159
WA
39
128
16
183
TAS
5
25
-
30
NT
7
37
3
47
ACT
8
10
2
20
Australia
1 263
1 452
302
3 017

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) 2007 data are revised and subject to a further revisions process. See Technical Note 3: 2007 Revisions for further information
(b) Data cells with small values have been randomly assigned to protect the confidentiality of individuals. As a result, some totals will not equal to the sum of their components. Cells with a zero value have not been affected by confidentialisation.
(c) Natural Causes - deaths due to diseases (for example diabetes, cancer, heart disease etc). Natural causes are predominantly certified by doctors. (A00-Q99, R00-98)
(d) External causes - deaths due to causes external to the body (for example suicide, transport accidents, falls, poisoning etc). External causes are certified by coroners. (V01-V99).
(e) Unknown Causes - deaths where it is unable to be determined whether the cause was natural or external. Predominantly these deaths are certified by coroners. (R99)



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