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3303.0.55.001 - Causes of Death, Australia: Doctor Certified Deaths, Summary Tables, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/11/2011   
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Underlying Cause of Death
Cancer (C00-D48)
Endocrine, Nutrional and Metabolic Diseases (E00-E90)
Mental and Behavioural Disorders (F00-F99)
Diseases of the Nervous System (G00-G99)
Diseases of the Circulatory System (I00-I99)
Diseases of the Respiratory System (J00-J99)

UNDERLYING CAUSE OF DEATH

Causes of death statistics in Australia are recorded as both underlying cause i.e. the disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death; and multiple cause i.e. all causes and conditions reported on the death certificate that contributed to, were associated with, or was the underlying cause of the death (see Glossary for further details).

Only underlying cause of death is presented for 2010 doctor certified deaths in this publication. Information on multiple cause of death for all deaths will be included in Causes of Death, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 3303.0).

All deaths registered in 2010 have been coded using the tenth revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) as released by the World Health Organization (WHO).

As shown in Table 2, in 2010 the top 3 causes of doctor certified deaths at the chapter level were:

  • Cancers, representing one-third (33.9%) of all doctor certified deaths;
  • Circulatory diseases, representing an additional 31.2% of all doctor certified deaths, and;
  • Respiratory diseases which contributed 8.9% of all doctor certified deaths.

The leading causes of death for all deaths (both doctor and coroner certified) will be presented in March 2012 in Causes of Death, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 3303.0).

2 Doctor certified deaths by cause of death - 2009 and 2010(a)

2009
2010
Dr cert
Proportion of total Dr cert
Dr cert
Proportion of total Dr cert
Cause of death and ICD-10 code
no.
%
no.
%

Infectious diseases (A00-B99)
1 678
1.4
2 009
1.6
Cancer (C00-D48)
41 142
33.7
42 719
33.9
Blood and immunity disorders (D50-D89)
397
0.3
392
0.3
Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (E00-E90)
5 506
4.5
5 422
4.3
Mental and behavioural disorders (F00-F99)
6 235
5.1
6 729
5.3
Diseases of the nervous system (G00-G99)
5 569
4.6
5 858
4.6
Diseases of the eye and adnexa (H00-H59)
5
-
4
-
Diseases of the ear and mastoid process (H60-H95)
1
-
1
-
Diseases of the heart and blood vessels (I00-I99)
39 395
32.3
39 332
31.2
Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-J99)
10 275
8.4
11 276
8.9
Diseases of the digestive system (K00-K93)
4 313
3.5
4 525
3.6
Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (L00-L99)
367
0.3
390
0.3
Diseases of the muscles, bones and tendons (M00-M99)
967
0.8
1 129
0.9
Diseases of the kidney and urinary system (N00-N99)
3 294
2.7
3 283
2.6
Pregnancy and childbirth (O00-O99)
3
-
1
-
Conditions originating in the perinatal period (P00-P96)
612
0.5
555
0.4
Congenital and chromosomal abnormalities (Q00-Q99)
523
0.4
508
0.4
Ill-defined causes (R00-R99)
339
0.3
361
0.3
External causes (V01-Y98)
1 486
1.2
1 598
1.3
Total doctor certified deaths
122 106
100.0
126 094
100.0
Total coroner certified deaths
18 654
17 379
Total deaths
140 760
143 473

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Data cells with small numbers 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.
The following section presents information about changes in doctor certified deaths from 2009 to 2010. Care should be taken in interpreting these results as they exclude any deaths which have been referred to a coroner for investigation, and may be affected by volatility when there are a small number of deaths recorded for specific causes.


3 Doctor certified deaths by cause of death - 2009 and 2010(a)

2009
2010
change
Cause of death and ICD-10 code  
no.
no.
%

Infectious diseases (A00-B99)  
1678
2009
19.7
Cancer (C00-D48)  
41142
42719
3.8
Blood and immunity disorders (D50-D89)  
397
392
-1.3
Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (E00-E90)  
5506
5422
-1.5
Mental and behavioural disorders (F00-F99)  
6235
6729
7.9
Diseases of the nervous system (G00-G99)  
5569
5858
5.2
Diseases of the eye and adnexa (H00-H59)
5
4
np
Diseases of the ear and mastoid process (H60-H95)
1
1
np
Diseases of the heart and blood vessels (I00-I99)  
39395
39332
-0.2
Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-J99)  
10275
11276
9.7
Diseases of the digestive system (K00-K93)  
4313
4525
4.9
Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (L00-L99)  
367
390
6.3
Diseases of the muscles, bones and tendons (M00-M99)  
967
1129
16.8
Diseases of the kidney and urinary system (N00-N99)  
3294
3283
-0.3
Pregnancy and childbirth (O00-O99)
3
1
np
Conditions originating in the perinatal period (P00-P96)  
612
555
-9.3
Congenital and chromosomal abnormalities (Q00-Q99)  
523
508
-2.9
Ill-defined causes (R00-R99)  
339
361
6.5
External causes (V01-Y98)
1486
1598
7.5
Total doctor certified deaths
122 106
126 094
3.3

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated
(a) Data cells with small numbers 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.


CANCER (C00-D48)

Cancers were the underlying cause of 42,719 doctor certified deaths in 2010, an increase of 1,577 doctor certified deaths from 2009.

The following diseases accounted for half (51.3% or 21,901) of all doctor certified cancer deaths:
  • Trachea and lung cancer (C33-C34) , increased by 4.5% from 7,646 in 2009 to 7,989 in 2010
  • Colon and rectum cancer (C18-C21), showed no notable increase from 3,971 in 2009 to 3,988 in 2010
  • Blood and lymph cancer (including leukaemia) (C81-C96), increased by 3.9% from 3,735 in 2009 to 3,881 in 2010
  • Prostate cancer (C61), increased by 4.4% from 3,078 in 2009 to 3,213 in 2010
  • Breast cancer (C50), increased by 2.0% from 2,774 in 2009 to 2,830 in 2010.

Of these deaths due to cancer certified by a doctor, 24,208 deaths were male and 18,511 were female. Median age at death for all doctor certified deaths attributed to cancer was 75.4 years, a slight increase from 75.2 years in 2009.

ENDOCRINE, NUTRITIONAL AND METABOLIC DISEASES (E00-E90)

In 2010, Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases were the underlying cause of 5,422 deaths, a decrease of 84 (or 1.5%) from the 5,506 doctor certified deaths in 2009.

Doctor certified deaths due to Diabetes (E10-E14) decreased 4.2% from 3,968 in 2009 to 3,803 in 2010. Specifically, Non-insulin diabetes mellitus or type 2 diabetes (E11) decreased from 1,737 in 2009 to 1,640 in 2010. Unspecified diabetes (E14) decreased from 1,896 in 2009 to 1,841 in 2010.

Of those deaths due to Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases certified by a doctor, 2,636 deaths were male and 2,786 were female. Median age at death for all doctor certified deaths attributed to Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases was 82.2 years, a slight increase from 81.6 years in 2009.

MENTAL AND BEHAVIOURAL DISORDERS (F00-F99)

Mental and behavioural disorders were the underlying cause of 6,729 doctor certified deaths in 2010, a 7.9% increase from the 6,235 doctor certified deaths in 2009. The majority of total deaths due to Mental and behavioural disorders are usually certified by a doctor.

Dementia (F01, F03) accounted for the majority of the increase in doctor certified deaths due to Mental and behavioural disorders in 2010, increasing from 5,729 doctor certified deaths in 2009 to 6,194 in 2010. This increase is consistent with the annual increases since 2006 and may be attributable in part to the aging population in Australia.

Of those deaths due to Mental and behavioural disorders certified by a doctor, 2,334 deaths were male and 4,395 were female. The median age at death for all doctor certified deaths attributed to Mental and behavioural disorders was 87.8 years, comparable to 2009 (87.7 years).

DISEASES OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM (G00-G99)

Diseases of the nervous system were the underlying cause of 5,858 doctor certified deaths in 2010, a 5.2% increase from the 5,569 doctor certified deaths in 2009.

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 1,179 in 2009 to 1,212 in 2010, and Alzheimer's disease (G30), up from 2,396 in 2009 to 2,672 in 2010.

Of those deaths due to Diseases of the nervous system certified by a doctor, 2,581 deaths were male and 3,277 were female. The median age at death for all doctor certified deaths attributed to Diseases of the nervous system was 83.4 years, higher than the 2009 median age of 82.8 years.

DISEASES OF THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM (I00-I99)

Diseases of the circulatory system were the underlying cause of 39,332 deaths certified by a doctor in 2010, a 0.2% decrease from the 39,395 doctor certified deaths in 2009. The total number of deaths each year assigned to Diseases of the circulatory system generally includes a relatively high proportion of coroner certified deaths.

Acute myocardial infarction (I21) accounted for the majority of the decrease in doctor certified deaths due to Diseases of the circulatory system in 2010, decreasing by 220 from 9,307 in 2009 to 9,087 in 2010.

Of those deaths due to Diseases of the circulatory system certified by a doctor, 17,414 deaths were male and 21,918 were female. The median age at death for all doctor certified deaths attributed to Diseases of the circulatory system was 86.2 years, a slight increase from 86.0 years in 2009.

DISEASES OF THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM (J00-J99)

Diseases of the respiratory system were the underlying cause of 11,276 doctor certified deaths in 2010, a 9.7% increase from the 10,275 doctor certified deaths in 2009.

Of those deaths due to Diseases of the respiratory system certified by a doctor, 5,833 deaths were male and 5,443 deaths were female. The median age at death for all doctor certified deaths attributed to Diseases of the respiratory system was 83.5 years, an increase from 83.0 years in 2009.

An increase in deaths due to Pneumonia, organism unspecified (J18) accounted for over half of the increase observed for doctor certified deaths due to Diseases of the respiratory system. Doctor certified deaths due to this cause increased by 690 in 2010, from 1,395 deaths in 2009 to 2,085 deaths in 2010. See Explanatory Note 40 for further information.


4 Selected underlying cause of death, Sex and median age - 2010

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

Infectious diseases (A00-B99)  
1040
51.8
969
48.2
2009
81.4
Cancer (C00-D48)  
24208
56.7
18511
43.3
42719
75.4
Blood and immunity disorders (D50-D89)  
192
49
200
51
392
82.3
Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (E00-E90)
2636
48.6
2786
51.4
5422
82.2
Mental and behavioural disorders (F00-F99)  
2334
34.7
4395
65.3
6729
87.8
Diseases of the nervous system (G00-G99)  
2581
44.1
3277
55.9
5858
83.4
Diseases of the eye and adnexa (H00-H59)
4
np
3
np
4
np
Diseases of the ear and mastoid process (H60-H95)
2
np
4
np
1
np
Diseases of the heart and blood vessels (I00-I99)  
17414
44.3
21918
55.7
39332
86.2
Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-J99)  
5833
51.7
5443
48.3
11276
83.5
Diseases of the digestive system (K00-K93)  
2186
48.3
2339
51.7
4525
81.9
Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (L00-L99)
142
36.4
248
63.6
390
86.4
Diseases of the muscles, bones and tendons (M00-M99)
362
32.1
767
67.9
1129
84.3
Diseases of the kidney and urinary system (N00-N99)  
1488
45.3
1795
54.7
3283
86.2
Pregnancy and childbirth (O00-O99)
0
0
4
np
1
np
Conditions originating in the perinatal period (P00-P96)  
336
60.5
219
39.5
555
0.5
Congenital and chromosomal abnormalities (Q00-Q99)  
256
50.4
252
49.6
508
0.9
Ill-defined causes (R00-R99)  
112
31
249
69
361
89.4
External causes (V01-Y98)
707
44.2
891
55.8
1598
86.8
Total Doctor certified deaths
61832
49
64262
51
126094
82.5
Total Coroner certified deaths
11652
67
5727
33
17379
59.1
Total
73484
51.2
69989
48.8
143473
81.2

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated

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