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3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2011 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/03/2013   
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Contents >> Leading Causes of Death >> Overview - Leading Causes of Death

OVERVIEW

Ranking causes of death is a useful method of describing patterns of mortality in a population. It allows comparison over time and between populations. However, different methods of grouping causes of death can result in a vastly different list of leading causes for any given population. For this reason ABS ranks leading causes of death in this publication based on research presented in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Volume 84, Number 4, April 2006, 297-304. For further information see Explanatory Notes 41-43.

In 2011, the leading underlying cause of death for all Australians was Ischaemic heart disease (I20-I25), which includes angina, blocked arteries of the heart and heart attacks. Ischaemic heart diseases were identified as the underlying cause of 21,513 deaths, 14.6% of all deaths registered in 2011. While Ischaemic heart diseases have been the leading cause of death in Australia since 2000, the proportion of deaths due to this cause has decreased, from 19.5% (26,063) in 2002 to 14.6% (21,513) in 2011.

Cerebrovascular diseases (I60-I69) have remained the second leading underlying cause of death in 2011. Cerebrovascular diseases include haemorrhages, strokes, infarctions and blocked arteries of the brain. Over the last 10 years, deaths due to this cause have decreased by 10.2%, from 12,533 deaths in 2002 to 11,251 deaths in 2011.

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease (F01, F03, G30) was the third leading cause of death in 2011. The number of deaths due to this cause has increased by 126% over the past decade from 4,364 in 2002 to 9,864 in 2011. This is largely due to an increase in deaths due to Dementia (F01, F03), which increased from 2,513 in 2002 to 6,877 in 2011. For further information see Explanatory Note 84.

Trachea, bronchus and lung cancers (C33-C34) were the fourth leading cause of death in 2011. Over the last 10 years, deaths due to this cause have increased by 11.1%, from 7,303 in 2002 to 8,114 in 2011.

The top 10 leading causes of death accounted for 52% of all deaths registered in 2011, and the top 20 leading causes accounted for 67.2%.

2.1 LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH(a), Australia - Selected years - 2002, 2006, 2011(b)

2002
2006
2011
Cause of death and ICD code
no.
Rank
no.
Rank
no.
Rank

Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25)
26 063
1
23 132
1
21 513
1
Cerebrovascular diseases (I60-I69)
12 533
2
11 479
2
11 251
2
Dementia and Alzheimer disease (F01, F03, G30)
4 364
6
6 550
4
9 864
3
Trachea, bronchus and lung cancer (C33-C34)
7 303
3
7 353
3
8 114
4
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)
6 256
4
5 463
5
6 570
5
Diabetes (E10-E14)
3 329
9
3 669
8
4 209
6
Colon, sigmoid, rectum and anus cancer (C18-C21)
4 649
5
3 857
6
4 087
7
Blood and lymph cancer (including leukaemia) (C81-C96)
3 791
7
3 700
7
3 978
8
Heart failure (I50-I51)
3 367
8
2 902
11
3 488
9
Diseases of the urinary system (N00-N39)
2 887
11
3 197
9
3 386
10
Prostate cancer (C61)
2 852
12
2 951
10
3 294
11
Breast cancer (C50)
2 716
13
2 643
13
2 937
12
Influenza and pneumonia (J09-J18)
3 084
10
2 711
12
2 492
13
Pancreatic cancer (C25)
1 834
15
2 077
15
2 416
14
Intentional self-harm (X60-X84)(c)
2 320
14
2 118
14
2 272
15
Skin cancers (C43-C44)
1 462
17
1 648
17
2 087
16
Accidental falls (W00-W19)
629
38
1 288
20
1 845
17
Hypertensive diseases (I10-I15)
1 353
20
1 500
18
1 802
18
Cardiac arrhythmias (I47-I49)
1 226
21
1 280
21
1 612
19
Cirrhosis and other diseases of liver (K70-K77)
1 354
19
1 416
19
1 589
20

(a) Causes listed are the leading causes of death for all deaths registered in 2011, based on WHO recommended tabulation of leading causes. See Explanatory Notes 41-43 for further information.
(b) See Explanatory Notes 81-99 for further information on specific issues relating to 2011 data.
(c) Excludes Sequelae of suicide (Y87.0) as per the WHO recommended tabulation of leading causes. Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to suicide. See Explanatory Notes 92-95.


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