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3303.0.55.001 - Causes of Death, Australia: Doctor Certified Deaths, Summary Tables, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/11/2013   
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Contents >> Specified Causes of Death

SPECIFIED CAUSES OF DEATH

CANCER (C00-D48)

Cancers were the underlying cause of 42,961 deaths certified by a doctor in 2012. This is a decrease of 255 deaths from 2011.

The following forms of cancer accounted for half of all cancer deaths certified by a doctor in 2012:

  • Trachea and lung cancer (C33-C34) accounted for 18.7% of all cancer deaths
  • Colon and rectum cancer (C18-C21) accounted for 9.3% of all deaths due to cancers
  • Blood and lymph cancer, including leukaemia (C81-C96), was the cause of 9.2% of cancer deaths
  • Prostate cancer (C61) caused 7.1% of deaths due to cancers, and
  • Breast cancer (C50) accounted for 6.5% of deaths due to cancers in 2012.

Approximately 56.4% (24,228) of people who died of cancers in 2012 were male; the remaining 43.6% (18,733) were female. The median age at death for people who died of cancers and whose death was certified by a doctor was 75.5 years.


ENDOCRINE, NUTRITIONAL AND METABOLIC DISEASES (E00-E90)

In 2012, Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases were the underlying cause of 5,754 deaths certified by a doctor, a decrease of 2 deaths from the 5,756 deaths certified by a doctor in 2011.

Doctor certified deaths due to Diabetes (E10-E14) increased 0.8% from 4,042 in 2011 to 4,074 in 2012. Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or type 2 diabetes (E11) decreased marginally from 1,782 in 2011 to 1,774 in 2012, while Unspecified diabetes mellitus (E14) increased by 35 deaths (1.8%) between 2011 and 2012, to reach 1,953 deaths.

Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases affected males and females almost equally in 2012: 49.0% of people who died of these causes were male, while 51.0% were female. The median age at death of people who died from Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases was amongst the lowest of all causes certified by a doctor, at 82.9 years, although this is a slight increase from 82.5 years in 2011.


MENTAL AND BEHAVIOURAL DISORDERS (F00-F99)

In 2012, 7,822 people died of Mental and behavioural disorders. This represented a 6.3% increase from the 7,359 doctor certified deaths in 2011. Deaths which result from Mental and behavioural disorders are more often certified by a doctor than a coroner.

Dementia (F01, F03) accounted for more deaths than any other Mental and behavioural disorder in 2012. The number of deaths doctors attributed to dementia increased from 6,791 in 2011, to 7,211 in 2012. This is consistent with annual increases since 2006 and may be attributable in part to the aging population in Australia.

The median age at death for an individual who died of a Mental or behavioural disorder that was certified by a doctor in 2012 was 88.2 years. The number of females (5,070) who died of these causes was nearly double that of males (2,752); 184 women died of a Mental or behavioural disorder for every 100 men who died of these conditions.


DISEASES OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM (G00-G99)

Diseases of the nervous system were the underlying cause of 6,582 doctor certified deaths in 2012, a 2.2% increase from the 6,440 doctor certified deaths in 2011.

The increase in doctor certified deaths due to Diseases of the nervous system was driven largely by increases in Parkinson's disease (G20), up from 1,317 deaths in 2011 to 1,376 deaths in 2012, and Alzheimer's disease (G30), up from 2,947 deaths in 2011 to 3,012 deaths in 2012.

Of those deaths due to Diseases of the nervous system certified by a doctor, 2,860 of those who died were male and 3,722 were female. The median age at death for all doctor certified deaths attributed to Diseases of the nervous system was 83.9 years, slightly higher than in 2011 (83.4 years).


DISEASES OF THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM (I00-I99)

Doctors certified 38,743 deaths due to circulatory diseases in 2012, a decrease of 1,181 deaths (3.0%) since 2011. The total number of deaths due to Diseases of the circulatory system is expected to be substantially higher when released in Causes of Death, Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 3303.0) as a number of deaths from these causes are certified by coroners.

Of all doctor certified deaths due to Diseases of the circulatory system, Chronic ischaemic heart disease (I25) recorded the largest decrease, from 8,451 deaths in 2011 to 7,865 in 2012 (6.9%). This was followed by Acute myocardial infarction (I21) which decreased by 464 deaths (5.1%) between 2011 and 2012, to reach 8,588. Deaths due to Stroke, not specified as haemorrhage or infarction (I64) also experienced a similar percentage decrease, down 5.4% (or 285 deaths) since 2011.

Females are more likely to die of circulatory diseases than males, when deaths certified by a doctor are examined. In 2012, there were 21,433 deaths of females and 17,310 deaths of males; a sex ratio of 124 deaths of females for every 100 deaths of males. The median age at death for all doctor certified deaths attributed to Diseases of the circulatory system was 86.5 years



DISEASES OF THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM (J00-J99)

Diseases of the respiratory system were the underlying cause of 12,541 doctor certified deaths in 2012, a 5.8% increase from the 11,857 doctor certified deaths in 2011.

Of those deaths due to Diseases of the respiratory system certified by a doctor, 6,390 deaths were male and 6,151 deaths were female. The median age at death for all doctor certified deaths attributed to Diseases of the respiratory system was 84.3 years, an increase from 83.9 years in 2011.

An increase in both Unspecified acute lower respiratory infection (J22) and Other intestinal pulmonary diseases (J84) accounted for nearly half (45.3%) of the increase observed for doctor certified deaths due to Diseases of the respiratory system between 2011 and 2012. Unspecified acute lower respiratory infection (J22) nearly tripled, from 90 deaths in 2011 to 258 deaths in 2012. Other intestinal pulmonary diseases (J84) increased by 142 deaths, to reach 1,116 in 2012.

Table 3 below outlines the number of males and females who died by selected underlying causes of death, as certified by a doctor, and the median age of death.

Table 3. Selected underlying causes of death by sex and median age, 2012(a)

Males
Females
Persons
Median Age at death
Cause of death and ICD-10 code
no.
%
no.
%
no.
years

Infectious diseases (A00-B99)
1 148
50.8
1 113
49.2
2 261
82.1
Cancer (C00-D48)
24 228
56.4
18 733
43.6
42 961
75.5
Blood and immunity disorders (D50-D89)
193
46.6
221
53.4
414
81.0
Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (E00-E90)
2 818
49.0
2 936
51.0
5 754
82.9
Mental and behavioural disorders (F00-F99)
2 752
35.2
5 070
64.8
7 822
88.2
Diseases of the nervous system (G00-G99)
2 860
43.5
3 722
56.5
6 582
83.9
Diseases of the eye and adnexa (H00-H59)
1
np
5
55.6
9
91.5
Diseases of the ear and mastoid process (H60-H95)
5
55.6
1
np
9
88.3
Diseases of the circulatory system (I00-I99)
17 310
44.7
21 433
55.3
38 743
86.5
Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-J99)
6 390
51.0
6 151
49.0
12 541
84.3
Diseases of the digestive system (K00-K93)
2 237
47.7
2 455
52.3
4 692
82.7
Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (L00-L99)
136
36.0
242
64.0
378
86.1
Diseases of the muscles, bones and tendons (M00-M99)
348
31.9
744
68.1
1 092
84.6
Diseases of the genitourinary system (N00-N99)
1 672
45.1
2 035
54.9
3 707
86.2
Pregnancy and childbirth (O00-O99)
na
1
np
2
np
Conditions originating in the perinatal period (P00-P96)
257
55.3
208
44.7
465
0.5
Congenital and chromosomal abnormalities (Q00-Q99)
231
49.4
237
50.6
468
1.0
Ill-defined causes (R00-R99)
156
35.6
282
64.4
438
89.6
External causes (V01-Y98)
722
44.6
897
55.4
1 619
87.4
Total Doctor certified deaths
63 467
48.8
66 489
51.2
129 956
83.0
Total Coroner certified deaths
11 327
66.1
5 815
33.9
17 142
59.9
Total
74 794
50.8
72 304
49.2
147 098
81.7


nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
na not applicable
np not publishable
(a) Data cells with small values have been randomly assigned to protect the confidentiality of individuals. As a result, some totals will not equal the sum of their components. Cells with a zero value have not been affected by confidentialisation.

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