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3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2012 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/03/2014   
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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 2012, 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 20,046 deaths, 13.6% of all deaths registered in 2012. 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 19.2% (25,439) in 2003 to 13.6% (20,046) in 2012.

Cerebrovascular diseases (I60-I69) have remained the second leading underlying cause of death in 2012. 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 11.9%, from 12,240 deaths in 2003 to 10,779 deaths in 2012.

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease (F01, F03, G30) was the third leading cause of death in 2012. The number of deaths due to this cause has increased by 142.5% over the past decade from 4,275 in 2003 to 10,369 in 2012. This is largely due to an increase in deaths due to Dementia (F01, F03), which increased from 2,663 in 2003 to 7,323 in 2012. For further information see Explanatory Note 84.

Trachea, bronchus and lung cancers (C33-C34) were the fourth leading cause of death in 2012. Over the last 10 years, deaths due to this cause have increased by 16.6%, from 6,976 in 2003 to 8,137 in 2012.

The top 10 leading causes of death accounted for 51.3% of all deaths registered in 2012, and the top 20 leading causes accounted for 66.8%.

2.1 LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH(a), Australia - Selected years - 2003, 2007, 2012(b)

2003
2007
2012
Cause of death and ICD code
no.
Rank
no.
Rank
no.
Rank

Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25)
25 439
1
22 956
1
20 046
1
Cerebrovascular diseases (I60-I69)
12 240
2
11 505
2
10 779
2
Dementia and Alzheimer disease (F01, F03, G30)
4 275
6
7 318
4
10 369
3
Trachea, bronchus and lung cancer (C33-C34)
6 976
3
7 635
3
8 137
4
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)
5 985
4
5 787
5
6 649
5
Diabetes (E10-E14)
3 389
9
3 818
7
4 239
6
Colon, sigmoid, rectum and anus cancer (C18-C21)
4 447
5
4 112
6
4 051
7
Blood and lymph cancer (including leukaemia) (C81-C96)
3 712
7
3 608
8
4 001
8
Diseases of the urinary system (N00-N39)
2 922
11
3 237
10
3 711
9
Heart failure (I50-I51)
2 988
10
3 438
9
3 489
10
Prostate cancer (C61)
2 842
12
2 939
11
3 079
11
Breast cancer (C50)
2 722
13
2 709
12
2 819
12
Influenza and pneumonia (J09-J18)
3 566
8
2 634
13
2 719
13
Intentional self-harm (X60-X84)(c)
2 213
14
2 227
15
2 535
14
Pancreatic cancer (C25)
1 902
15
2 252
14
2 524
15
Skin cancers (C43-C44)
1 527
17
1 728
16
2 036
16
Accidental falls (W00-W19)
709
37
1 337
21
1 997
17
Hypertensive diseases (I10-I15)
1 364
19
1 640
17
1 858
18
Cardiac arrhythmias (I47-I49)
1 102
24
1 406
20
1 720
19
Cirrhosis and other diseases of liver (K70-K77)
1 390
18
1 451
19
1 547
20

(a) Causes listed are the leading causes of death for all deaths registered in 2012, 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 2012 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 92-94.


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