Australian Bureau of Statistics
3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2012 Quality Declaration
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/03/2014
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The classification of countries used is the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC). For more detailed information refer to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) (cat. no. 1269.0).
Counts of death
A form of multiple cause of death analysis which is a calculation of the number of people who have died with a particular disease/s or disorder/s.Counts of mentions
A form of multiple cause of death analysis which calculates the total number of incidences of particular disease/s or disorder/s listed on the death certificate.
Crude death rate
The crude death rate (CDR) is the number of deaths registered during the reference year per 100,000 estimated resident population at 30 June.
Datacubes are a series of spreadsheets which present Causes of Death data. Causes of Death datacubes can be found on the web page under the Downloads tab. See iNote for Datacubes for more information on Cause of Death datacubes.
Death is the permanent disappearance of all evidence of life after birth has taken place. The definition excludes all deaths prior to live birth. For the purposes of the Deaths and Causes of Death collections of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), a death refers to any death which occurs in, or en route to, Australia and is registered with a state or territory Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Doctor certified deaths
Deaths which were certified by a doctor or medical practitioner, which were not required to be referred on to a coroner. Deaths certified by a doctor represent 85-90% of all deaths each year. Doctor certified deaths are not subject to the revisions process.
Early neonatal death
Death of a live born baby within seven days of birth.
Estimated resident population (ERP)
The official measure of the population of Australia is based on the concept of residence. It refers to all people, regardless of nationality or citizenship, who usually live in Australia, with the exception of foreign diplomatic personnel and their families. It includes usual residents who are overseas for less than 12 months. It excludes overseas visitors who are in Australia for less than 12 months.
External causes of death
Deaths due to causes external to the body (for example suicide, transport accidents, falls, poisoning etc). ICD-10 codes V01-Y98.
Australian external territories include Australian Antarctic Territory, Coral Sea Islands Territory, Norfolk Island, Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands, and Territory of Heard and McDonald Islands.
A fetal death is death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother as a product of conception of at least 20 completed weeks of gestation or with a birth weight of at least 400 grams. The death is indicated by the fact that after such separation the fetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles. See Explanatory Notes 17-19 for further information.
Fetal death rate
The number of fetal deaths in a reference year per 1,000 all births (live births plus fetal deaths of at least 20 weeks' gestation or at least 400 grams birth weight) in the same year. See 'All births' above.
International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. The purpose of the ICD is to permit the systematic recording, analysis, interpretation and comparison of mortality and morbidity data collected in different countries or areas and at different times. The ICD, which is endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is primarily designed for the classification of diseases and injuries with a formal diagnosis. The ICD-10 is the current classification system, which is structured using an alphanumeric coding scheme. Each disease or health problem is assigned a 3-digit identification code, which is assigned to the deceased by a doctor or coroner. Cause of death statistics can be produced for aggregates of these, for example, chapter level (letter), 2-digit code (first two numbers of the assigned code), and 3-digit code (three numbers of the assigned code). See Explanatory Notes 24-28 for more information on ICD. Further information also is available from the WHO website.
Indirect standardised death rate (ISDR)
See Standardised death rate (SDR).
An infant death is the death of a live born child who dies before reaching his/her first birthday.
Infant death rate
The number of deaths of children under one year of age in a reference year per 1,000 live births in the same reference year.
The manner or 'intent' of an injury which leads to death, is determined by whether the injury was inflicted purposefully or not (in some cases, intent cannot be determined). The determination of "intent" for each death is essential for determining the appropriate ICD-10 code to use for a death. See Explanatory Notes 56-67 for more information.
Late neonatal death
Death of a live born baby after seven completed days and within 28 completed days of birth.
Leading causes of death
Ranking causes of death is a useful method of describing patterns of mortality in a population and allows comparison over time and between populations. The ranking of leading causes of death in this publication is based on research presented in the Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, Volume 84, Number 4, April 2006, 297-304 (see Explanatory Notes 41-43 for further information).
A live birth is the complete expulsion or extraction of a child from its mother as a product of conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy, which after such separation, breathes or shows any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord or definite movement of voluntary muscles, whether or not the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached; each product of such a birth is considered live born. This is the denominator used in calculating neonatal death rates in this publication. See Explanatory Notes 102.
Mechanism of death
Mechanism of external cause of death by which a person may die include: poisoning; hanging and other threats to breathing; drowning and submersion; firearms; contact with sharp object; and falls.
Median age at death
This refers to the age at death at the 50th percentile for the relevant demographic group.
Morbid train of events
The events and diseases which lead to death.
Multiple causes of death
All morbid conditions, diseases and injuries entered on the death certificate. These include those involved in the morbid train of events leading to death which were classified as either the underlying cause, the immediate cause, or any intervening causes, and those conditions which contributed to death but were not related to the disease or condition causing death. For deaths where the underlying cause was identified as an external cause (for example, injury or poisoning, etc) multiple causes include circumstances of injury and the nature of injury as well as any other conditions reported on the death certificate.
National Coronial Information System (NCIS)
The NCIS is a national data storage system which contains information about all deaths referred to a coroner since July 2000 (January 2001 for Queensland).
Natural cause of death
Deaths due to diseases (for example diabetes, cancer, heart disease etc.) which are not external or unknown.
A neonatal death is death of a live born baby within 28 completed days of birth.
Neonatal death rate
The number of deaths in a reference year of live born babies within 28 completed days of birth per 1,000 live births in the same reference year.
The neonatal period commences at birth and ends 28 completed days after birth.
Following the 1992 amendments to the Acts Interpretation Act to include the Indian Ocean Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands as part of geographic Australia, another category at the state and territory level has been created, known as Other Territories. Other Territories include Jervis Bay Territory, previously included with the Australian Capital Territory, as well as Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
A death that is either a fetal death (i.e. a death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother as a product of conception of 20 completed weeks of gestation or with a birth weight of at least 400 grams), or a neonatal death (i.e. death of a live born baby within 28 completed days of birth).
For comparison and measuring purposes, perinatal deaths in this publication have also been expressed as rates. Perinatal death rates are the number of perinatal deaths in a reference year (i.e. fetal and neonatal deaths) per 1,000 all births in the same reference year. See 'All births'.
The perinatal period commences at 20 weeks of gestation and ends within 28 completed days of birth.
Period of gestation
Period of gestation is measured from the first day of the last normal menstrual period to the date of birth and is expressed in completed weeks.
Post neonatal death
Death of a live born baby after 28 days and within one year of birth.
Rate ratio is calculated by dividing the standardised death rate for one group (such as all persons with a usual residence of Queensland) by the standardised death rate for the total relevant population (such as all persons with a usual residence of Australia).
The year that presented data refers to. For example, this publication presents data for the 2012 reference year, as well as some historical data for the 2003 to 2011 reference years. From 2007, data for a particular reference year includes all deaths registered in Australia for the reference year that are received by the ABS by the end of the March quarter of the subsequent year. For example, data for the 2012 reference year includes all deaths registered in Australia for 2012 that were received by the ABS by the end of March 2013. See Explanatory Notes 10-16 for more information about scope and coverage.
Data presented on a year of registration basis relate to the date the death was registered with the relevant state or territory Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. In most cases the year of registration and year of occurrence for a particular death will be the same, but in some cases there may be a delay between occurrence and registration of death.
Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Each state and territory has a Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. It is a legal requirement that all deaths are recorded by the relevant Registry for the state or territory in which the death occurred.
Deaths which are reported to a coroner. See Explanatory Note 5 for further information on what constitutes a reportable death.
When additional information about an 'open' coroner certified death is received by the ABS, a more specific ICD-10 code may be applied, thereby 'revising' the cause of death. See Explanatory Notes 29-33 and Technical Notes, Causes of Death Revisions, 2006 in Causes of Death, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 3303.0) and Causes of Death Revisions, 2010 and 2011 in this publication, for further information on the revisions process and the impact on specific years' data.
Perinatal deaths where sex is indeterminate are included in male totals where applicable.
The number of males per 100 females. The sex ratio is defined for total population, at birth, at death and among age groups by appropriately selecting the numerator and denominator of the ratio.
Standardised death rate (SDR)
Standardised death rates (SDRs) enable the comparison of death rates between populations with different age structures by relating them to a standard population. The current standard population is all persons in the Australian population at 30 June 2001. SDRs are expressed per 100,000 persons. There are two methods of calculating standardised death rates:
SDRs throughout this publication have been produced according to principles outlined in Appendix: Principles on the use of direct age-standardisation, from Deaths, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 3302.0).
State or territory of registration
State or territory of registration refers to the state or territory in which the death was registered. It is the state or territory in which the death occurred, but is not necessarily the deceased's state or territory of usual residence.
State or territory of usual residence
State or territory of usual residence refers to the state or territory in which the person has lived or intended to live for a total of six months or more in a given reference year.
See fetal death.
The disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death. Accidental and violent deaths are classified according to the external cause, that is, to the circumstances of the accident or violence which produced the fatal injury rather than to the nature of the injury.
Unknown cause of death
Deaths for which it is not possible to determine between a natural and an external cause.
Usual residence within Australia refers to that address at which the person has lived or intended to live for a total of six months or more in a given reference year.
Year of occurrence
Data presented on a year of occurrence basis relate to the date the death occurred rather than when it was registered with the relevant state or territory Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. See Explanatory Note 13 and Year of Occurrence for more information.
Years of potential life lost (YPLL)
YPLL measures the extent of 'premature' mortality, where 'premature' mortality is assumed to be any death at ages of 1-78 years inclusive. By estimating YPLL for deaths of people aged 1-78 years it is possible to assess the significance of specific diseases or trauma as a cause of premature death. See Explanatory Notes 44-47 for an explanation of the calculation of YPLL.
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This page last updated 30 March 2015