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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LEADING CAUSES OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER DEATHS

The following analysis is based on 2,469 deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons, which is an aggregate of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory data only for the 2012 reference year. Only these five jurisdictions have a sufficient level of Indigenous identification and sufficient numbers of Indigenous deaths to support mortality analysis. Caution should still be taken when interpreting data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians presented in this publication, especially with regard to year to year changes. See Explanatory Notes 68-76 for further information.

Over three-quarters (78.7%) of deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons were accounted for by the following five underlying causes of death: Diseases of the circulatory system (I00-I99; 621 deaths or 25.2%); Neoplasms (C00-D48; 524 deaths or 21.2%); External causes of mortality (V01-Y98; 380 deaths or 15.4%); Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (E00-E90; 225 deaths or 9.1%) and Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-J99; 194 deaths or 7.9%).

Table 6.1 highlights the leading causes based on the World Health Organization recommendation for leading causes (see Section 2, Leading Causes of Death for more information). The top 10 leading causes of death account for over half (53.7%) of all deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons.

All rate ratios presented in this table and all following sections are based on age standardised death rates (the number of deaths per 100,000 persons) comparing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous populations.

6.1 WHO leading causes(a), NSW, Qld, SA, WA and NT(b) - by Indigenous status - 2012(c)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
SDR(d)
Non-Indigenous
SDR(d)
Rate ratio(e)
Rate difference(f)
Cause of Death and ICD-10 code
no.
rate
no.
rate

Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25)
338
164.8
14 057
78.9
2.1
85.9
Diabetes mellitus (E10-E14)
201
106.3
2 685
15.1
7.0
91.2
Malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung (C33-C34)
138
72.6
5 775
32.0
2.3
40.6
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)
123
73.9
4 586
25.7
2.9
48.2
Intentional self-harm (X60-X84)(g)
117
22.4
1 777
11.0
2.0
11.4
Cerebrovascular diseases (I60-I69)
108
66.9
7 703
43.4
1.5
23.5
Land transport accidents (V01-V89)
88
19.9
942
5.8
3.4
14.1
Symptoms, signs and ill-defined conditions (R00-R99)
79
22.4
1 146
6.6
3.4
15.8
Cirrhosis and other diseases of liver (K70-K76)
72
23.4
1 015
5.7
4.1
17.7
Diseases of the urinary system (N00-N39)
63
33.8
2 410
13.6
2.5
20.2

(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) Data are based on five jurisdictions for which the quality of Indigenous identification in mortality data is considered acceptable (NSW, Qld, SA, WA and NT only). See Explanatory Notes 68-76 for further information on interpreting data relating to deaths of Indigenous persons.
(c) Causes of death data for 2012 are preliminary and subject to a revisions process. See Explanatory Notes 29-33 and Technical Notes, Causes of Death Revisions, 2006 in Causes of Death, Australia 2010 and Causes of Death Revisions, 2010 and 2011 in this publication.
(d) Standardised death rate. Deaths per 100,000 of estimated mid-year population. See Glossary for further information.
(e) Rate ratio is the rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons divided by the non-Indigenous rate.
(f) Rate difference is the rate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons less the non-Indigenous rate.
(g) 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.

Figure 6.2 presents further comparisons of age-standardised rates for specific causes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous populations.

Graph Image for Selected causes of deaths, Standardised Death Rate(c), by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status 2012 (a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Includes deaths of persons identified as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. (b) Data are reported by jurisdiction of usual residence for NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT only. Only these five states and territories have evidence of a sufficient level of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification and sufficient numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths to support mortality analysis. See Explanatory Notes 68-76 for further information on interpreting data relating to deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons. (c) Standardised deaths rate per 100,000 population. (d) See Explanatory Notes 81-99 for further information on specific issues to be considered when interpreting time series and 2012 data. (e) Causes of death data for 2012 are preliminary and subject to a revisions process. See Explanatory Notes 29-33 and Technical Notes, Causes of Death Revisions, 2006 and Causes of Death Revisions, 2010 and 2011.

Source(s): Causes of Death, Australia