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1367.2 - State and Regional Indicators, Victoria, Mar 2010  
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Contents >> Health >> Causes of Death, Victoria, 2008

CAUSES OF DEATH, VICTORIA, 2008

Statistics on causes of death are one of the oldest and most comprehensive set of health statistics available in Australia, and can provide insights into the impact of disease on Australian society. Causes of death information provide insights into the diseases and factors which are responsible for reducing life expectancy.

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. The ranking of leading causes of death in the following sections are based on research presented in the Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, Volume 84, Number 4, April 2006, 257-336 and have been classified using the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). Please refer to Causes of Death, Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 3303.0) Explanatory Notes for further information.

In the following chapter, 'Victorian deaths' relate to deaths of Victorian usual residents, regardless of where in Australia the death occurred and was registered, as well as deaths registered in Victoria of persons who usually reside overseas.

The number of deaths registered each year continues to increase as the size and age of the Victorian population increases. In 2008, there were 35,497 Victorian deaths, 7.8% more than the number registered in 2003 and 11% higher than in 1999. Males accounted for half of Victorian deaths registered in 2008. All coroner certified deaths registered after 1 January 2007 are now subject to a revisions process after 12 and 24 months. The data contained in the following chapter includes 2008 (preliminary) data which are subject to a revisions process. For more information see Technical Note 2: Causes of Death - Revisions Process. Recent process improvements have positively impacted data for 2008, for further information see Technical Note 1: 2008 COD Collection - Process Improvements.

In 2008, the leading underlying cause of death for all Victorians was Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25), which includes angina, blocked arteries of the heart and heart attacks. Ischaemic heart diseases were identified as the underlying cause of 5,670 deaths, 16% of all deaths registered in 2008. While Ischaemic heart diseases have been the leading cause of death since 1999, the number of deaths due to this cause has decreased, from 6,520 (20% of all deaths) in 1999 to 5,670 (16% of all deaths) in 2008.

Cerebrovascular disease [Strokes] (I60-I69) remained the second leading underlying cause of death in 2008. Strokes include haemorrhages, strokes, infarctions and blocked arteries of the brain. Compared to 10 years ago, deaths due to this cause decreased by 5.5%, from 2,903 deaths in 1999 to 2,744 deaths in 2008. The proportion of all deaths attributed to Strokes has decreased over the last 10 years, from 9.1% of deaths in 1999 to 7.7% in 2008.

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease (F01, F03, G30) was the third leading cause of death in 2008. The number of deaths due to this cause increased by 139%, from 924 deaths in 1999 to 2208 deaths in 2008.

Leading Causes of Death, Victoria
Graph: Leading Causes of Deaths, Victoria


The 10 leading causes of death accounted for 54% of all deaths registered in 2008, and the 20 leading causes accounted for 68%.

3.1 Leading Causes of Death(a)(b), Victoria - Selected years

1999
2003
2008(c)(d)
Cause of Death (ICD code)
no.
Rank
no.
Rank
no.
Rank

Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25)
6 520
1
6 167
1
5 670
1
Strokes (I60-I69)
2 903
2
2 808
2
2 744
2
Dementia and Alzheimer's disease (F01, F03, G30)
924
8
1 133
6
2 208
3
Trachea and lung cancer (C33-C34)
1 679
3
1 805
3
1 973
4
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)
1 512
4
1 538
4
1 683
5
Colon and Rectum Cancer (C18-C21)
1 232
5
1 332
5
1 138
6
Diabetes (E10-E14)
975
6
1 053
7
1 110
7
Blood and lymph cancer (including leukaemia) (C81-C96)
941
7
954
8
1 021
8
Heart failure (I50-I51)
801
9
880
9
858
9
Prostate cancer (C61)
680
12
760
12
785
10
Diseases of the kidney and urinary system (N00-N39)
746
10
782
11
775
11
Breast cancer (C50)
689
11
752
13
710
12
Pancreatic cancer (C25)
447
16
500
15
613
13
Suicide (X60-X84)(e)
552
13
540
14
504
14
Falls (W00-W19)
101
44
147
39
472
15
Cardiac arrhythmias (I47-I49)
255
25
291
23
436
16
Influenza and pneumonia (J10-J18)
466
14
832
10
425
17
Hypertensive diseases (I10-I15)
326
19
334
17
400
18
Cirrhosis and other diseases of liver (K70-K77)
299
21
328
20
372
19
Skin cancers (C43-C44)
277
22
331
18
357
20

(a) Figures greater than zero and less than five are randomly adjusted to preserve confidentiality.
(b) Causes listed are the leading causes of death for all deaths registered in 2008 based on the WHO recommended tabulation of leading causes. See Explanatory Notes 40-42 of Causes of Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information.
(c) Causes of death data for 2008 are preliminary and subject to a revisions process. See Technical Note 2: Causes of Death - Revisions Process (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information.
(d) 2008 data have been subject to process improvements which have increased the quality of these data. See Technical Note 1: 2008 COD Collection - Process Improvements (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information.
(e) 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 due to limitations of the data, see Explanatory Notes 72-75 of Causes of Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information.
Source: Causes of Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0).



Leading Causes of Death by Gender

Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25) were the leading cause of death for both males and females in 2008, with 2,924 and 2,746 deaths respectively. This reflects a ratio of 106 male deaths for every 100 female deaths.

The leading causes of death vary between the sexes, in part due to the incidence of gender specific causes, such as Prostate or Ovarian cancer. However, other causes which may not be gender-specific also show variance between the sexes. Examples of these include:

  • Trachea and lung cancers (C33-C34), for which there were 178 male deaths for every 100 female deaths
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47), for which there were 116 male deaths for every 100 female deaths
  • Strokes (I60-I69), for which there were 65 male deaths for every 100 female deaths
  • Dementia and Alzheimer's disease (F01, F03, G30), for which there were 48 male deaths for every 100 female deaths.

Those causes where a high proportion of deaths were males include:
  • Intentional self harm [Suicide] (X60-X84) - 78%
  • Cirrhosis and other diseases of the liver (K70-K77) - 67%
  • Trachea and lung cancers (C33-C34) - 64%
  • Skin Cancers (C43-C44) - 63%
  • Parkinson's Disease (G20)- 58%

3.2 Leading Causes of Death(a)(b), Males - 2008(c)(d)

Cause of Death (ICD code)
Rank
Males
Total

Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25)
1
2 924
5 670
Trachea and lung cancers (C33-C34)
2
1 263
1 973
Strokes (I60-I69)
3
1 082
2 744
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)
4
904
1 683
Prostate cancer (C61)
5
785
785
Dementia and Alzheimer's disease (F01, F03, G30)
6
720
2 208
Colon and rectum cancer (C18-C21)
7
603
1 138
Blood and lymph cancer (including leukaemia) (C81-C96)
8
571
1 021
Diabetes (E10-E14)
9
531
1 110
Suicide (X60-X85)(e)
10
395
504

(a) Figures greater than zero and less than five are randomly adjusted to preserve confidentiality.
(b) Causes listed are the leading causes of death for all deaths registered in 2008 based on the WHO recommended tabulation of leading causes. See Explanatory Notes 40-42 of Causes of Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information.
(c) Causes of death data for 2008 are preliminary and subject to a revisions process. See Technical Note 2: Causes of Death - Revisions Process (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information.
(d) 2008 data have been subject to process improvements which have increased the quality of these data. See Technical Note 1: 2008 COD Collection - Process Improvements (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information.
(e) 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 due to limitations of the data, see Explanatory Notes 72-75 of Causes of Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information.
Source: Causes of Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0).


Those causes where a high proportion of deaths were females include:

  • Dementia and Alzheimer's disease (F01, F03, G30) - 67%
  • Strokes (I60-I69) - 61%
  • Heart failure (I50-I51) - 59%
  • Diseases of the Kidney and Urinary system (N00-N39) - 56%

3.3 Leading Causes of Death(a)(b), Females - 2008(c)(d)

Cause of Death (ICD code)
Rank
Females
Total

Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25)
1
2 746
5 670
Strokes (I60-I69)
2
1 662
2 744
Dementia and Alzheimer's disease (F01, F03, G30)
3
1 488
2 208
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)
4
779
1 683
Trachea and lung cancers (C33-C34)
5
710
1 973
Breast cancer (C50)
6
708
710
Diabetes (E10-E14)
7
579
1 110
Colon and rectum cancer (C18-C21)
8
535
1 138
Heart failure (I50-I51)
9
510
858
Blood and lymph cancer (including leukaemia) (C81-C96)
10
450
1 021

(a) Figures greater than zero and less than five are randomly adjusted to preserve confidentiality.
(b) Causes listed are the leading causes of death for all deaths registered in 2008 based on the WHO recommended tabulation of leading causes. See Explanatory Notes 40-42 of Causes of Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information.
(c) Causes of death data for 2008 are preliminary and subject to a revisions process. See Technical Note 2: Causes of Death - Revisions Process (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information.
(d) 2008 data have been subject to process improvements which have increased the quality of these data. See Technical Note 1: 2008 COD Collection - Process Improvements (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information.
Source: Causes of Deaths, Australia (3303.0).


View additional information as an Excel spreadsheet: Download Leading Causes of Death, Victoria, Selected year by Statistical Sub-Division from the Downloads Page.


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