EXTERNAL CAUSES (V01-Y98)
External causes of death relate to cases where the underlying cause of death is determined to be one of a group of causes external to the body (for example suicide, transport accidents, falls, poisoning etc). See Explanatory Note 45 for further information.
In 2010, external causes accounted for 8,918 deaths, or 6.2% of all registered deaths. The standardised death rate was 37.8 per 100,000 population in 2010, a decrease from 40.6 per 100,000 population in 2001. Males were more likely to die from external causes than females in 2010. The standardised death rate for males was 54.0 per 100,000 compared with 22.4 females per 100,000.
In 2010, the median age at death from these causes was 52.7 years. The median age at death for external causes was considerably less than the median age of 81.2 years for all registered deaths in 2010. The median age at death for males dying of external causes was 47.5. years, with the median age at death for females 73.8 years.
Consistent with previous years, close to two-thirds of the total number of deaths resulting from external causes were males (5,888). The difference between the number of male and female deaths was most apparent amongst the 20-44 year age group, with 2,277 male deaths compared to 664 female deaths, with a sex ratio of 343 male deaths per 100 female deaths in this age group.
Transport Accidents (V01-V99, Y85)
Transport accidents (V01-V99, Y85) accounted for 1,503 deaths registered in 2010. This represented 1.0% of all registered deaths in 2010, and 16.9% of all external causes of death. Of these, 706 deaths were of Occupants of a car (V40-V49), 236 deaths were of Motorcycle riders (V20-V29) and 227 deaths were of Pedestrians (V01-V09).
As with most other external causes, more males than females died from transport accidents in 2010 (1,122 compared with 381). For males, 1.5% of deaths registered in 2010 were caused by transport accidents. This was compared with only 0.5% of all female deaths. The median age at death from transport accidents for males was 37.5 years compared to 43.8 years for females. Of all male deaths from external causes, 19.1% were attributed to transport accidents.
For further information on transport accidents, refer to Explanatory Note 95.
Accidental Falls (W00-W19)
Accidental Falls (W00-W19) accounted for 1,648 deaths registered in 2010. This represented 1.1% of all registered deaths in 2010, and 18.5% of all external causes of death. Falls have increased by 28.0% over the last five years (1,288 in 2006).
Falls were the underlying cause of death for more females than males (862 females, compared with 786 males). The median age at death for falls was 85.9 years, which was considerably higher than the median age at death of 52.7 for all external causes. Of all deaths due to falls, 87.4% (1,440) were of people aged 70 years or more.
Accidental Poisoning (X40-X49)
Accidental poisoning (X40-X49) accounted for 864 deaths registered in 2010. This represented 0.6% of all registered deaths in 2010, and 9.7% of all external causes of death. The number of deaths due to accidental poisoning may be affected by the number of open coroner certified cases, as well as changes in coding practices. See Explanatory Notes 61-73 for further information.
More than twice as many males as females died from accidental poisoning in 2010, with 611 male and 253 female deaths. The median age at death for accidental poisoning was 41.8 years. Median age at death for males was 40.5 years, compared with 45.4 years for females.
Assault (X85-Y09, Y87.1) accounted for 217 deaths in 2010. The deaths from assault represented 0.2% of all registered deaths and 2.4% of all external causes of death in 2010. Twice as many males (145) as females (72) died from assault in 2010, closely following the trend since 2001. The median age at death for assault was 40.6 years. Median age at death for males was 40.5 years, compared with 41.0 years for females.
ABS statistics for deaths due to assault may differ from other sources of data due to differences in scope and coverage, but also due to the impact of open coroner certified cases on data. See Explanatory Notes 11-17 and 61-73 for further information.
Intentional Self-Harm [Suicide] (X60-X84,Y87.0)
Care should be taken in using and interpreting suicide data contained in this publication. For further information refer to Explanatory Notes 98-101.
There were 2,361 deaths coded to Intentional self-harm (X60-X84, Y87.0) in 2010. Deaths from Intentional self-harm represented 1.6% of all registered deaths and 26.5% of all external causes of death in 2010. More than three times as many males as females died from Intentional self-harm in 2010, continuing the trend since 2001. The median age at death for Intentional self-harm was 43.8 years for both males and females.
For more detailed information on deaths due to Intentional self-harm, see Chapter 5 of this publication.