DISEASES OF THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM (J00-J99)
Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-J99), which include diseases that impact on the ability to breathe, accounted for 11,949 registered deaths in 2010, which was 8.3% of all registered deaths. In line with the pattern of previous years where more males than females died of this cause, there were 6,222 male deaths compared to 5,727 female deaths due to diseases of the respiratory system. Over the past ten years, females tended to be older than males for this underlying cause. This trend continued in 2010 with the median age at death for males being 82.0 years while for females the median age was 84.5 years.
In 2010, Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47) were the underlying cause of 6,122 deaths or 4.3% of all registered deaths. Chronic lower respiratory diseases include diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. More males than females died from this cause in 2010 (3,224 compared with 2,898). In 2010, the median age at death caused by chronic lower respiratory diseases was 80.5 years for males and 81.8 years for females.
In 2010, Pneumonia (J12-J18) accounted for 2,322 of the 2,364 registered deaths due to Influenza and pneumonia (J09-J18), or 1.6% of all registered deaths in Australia. As in previous years, more females died from pneumonia than males, with 1,303 female deaths compared with 1,019 male deaths. The median age at death for males was also lower, 85.7 years compared with 88.9 years for females.
The number of deaths from Pneumonitis (J69), which is similar to pneumonia but results from complications of inhalation of solids and liquids, has increased substantially over time, from 516 deaths in 2001 to 1,266 in 2010. The increase in deaths due to this cause was mainly in the 60 years and over age group. In 2001, 501 people aged 60 or over died from pneumonitis, whereas in 2010, 1,227 people aged 60 years or over died from this underlying cause.
In 2010, Swine flu (Influenza A - H1N1) was the underlying cause of 19 deaths in Australia, in 2009 there were 77 deaths. The ABS implemented World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines to code all swine flu deaths to the ICD-10 code of Influenza due to certain identified influenza virus (J09). Further information on swine flu deaths within the ABS dataset is provided in Causes of Death, Australia, 2009 Explanatory Note 76.