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Q. What information does the ABS collect on Health?
Q. Is data available on deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?
Q. Is data available on deaths caused by suicide?
Q. Is data available on perinatal deaths?
Q. Is there a link between the statistics in the publications Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3302.0) and Causes of Death, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0)?
Q. What is the difference between year of registration and year of occurrence?
Q. It is 2010, why can't I find causes of death data for 2009?
Q. Why is 2007 data being revised? Was there an error in the originally presented data?


Q. What information does the ABS collect on Health?

A. The ABS collects a broad range of information on Health, such as cause of death, drugs, health conditions, Indigenous health, life expectancy and suicide, these are just some of the topics freely available on the ABS website.

The ABS measures the health of the Australian population by measuring mortality, morbidity, lifestyle factors, disability, and the use of health services. Additional information relating to ABS mortality and disability statistics can be found on the Mortality and Disability pages.

For further information or customised data on Health please contact the National Information and Referal Service on 1300 135 070.


Q. Is data available on deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?

A. Yes, data related to deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can be found in Causes of Death, Australia, 2007 (cat. no. 3303.0) in Chapter 6. Additional statistics can be found at Catalogue Number 47. Indigenous Statistics.

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Q. Is data available on deaths caused by suicide?

A. Yes, statistics on suicide deaths for years prior to 2006 were published separately in Suicides, Australia (cat. no. 3309.0). Since then, statistics on suicide deaths have been included in Causes of Death, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0) in Chapter 6 (2007) and Chapter 5 (2006).


Q. Is data available on perinatal deaths?

A. Yes, this data is presented in Perinatal Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3304.0). Prior to 2007, this data was included in the Causes of Death, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0) publication.


Q. Is there a link between the statistics in the publications Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3302.0) and Causes of Death, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0)?

A. Yes, demographic data in the Causes of Death publication is sourced from the Deaths publication.

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Q. What is the difference between year of registration and year of occurrence?

A. Data presented on a year of registration basis relate to the date the death was registered with the relevant state or territory Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. 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 Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Although some deaths can be registered many years after their date of occurrence, the international standard for publishing on a year of occurrence basis is to include deaths registered within the relevant occurrence year and the year immediately following. Accordingly, this practice has been adopted for the presentation of Causes of Death year of occurrence data to facilitate international comparisons. Analysis of deaths in Australia has shown that the number of deaths registered after the second year is not significant. Year of occurrence data allow for seasonal analysis, and data are not distorted by the effects of late registrations or changes in time lags in processing registrations. In those countries where registration systems are complete and timely, there is not a significant difference between the number of deaths derived on a registration basis and those on a year of occurrence basis.

For Australia, approximately 95% of deaths registered in a particular year occurred in that year. However, variations can occur in certain subsets of the population and for particular causes of death. For instance, while 95% of the total 133,739 deaths registered in 2006 occurred in the same year, only 88% of the 2,279 Indigenous deaths and 93% of deaths due to External causes registered in 2006 occurred in that year. More detailed data for specific causes or population groups are available from the ABS on request.


Q. It is 2010, why can't I find causes of death data for 2009?

A. Processing for causes of death data for a particular reference period is finalised approximately 13 months after the end of the reference period.

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Q. Why is 2007 data being revised? Was there an error in the originally presented data?

A. No, all data was accurate at the time of collection and publication; the revision process is being conducted to increase the specificity of assigned codes for open coroner certified cases. All coroner certified deaths registered after 1 January 2007 will be subject to a revision process. This is a change from previous years where all ABS processing of causes of death data for a particular reference period was finalised approximately 13 months after the end of the reference period. Where insufficient information was available to code a cause of death (e.g. a coroner certified death was yet to be finalised by the Coroner), less specific ICD codes were assigned as required by the ICD coding rules. The revision process will enable the use of additional information relating to coroner certified deaths as it becomes available over time. This will result in increased specificity of the assigned ICD-10 codes.


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