DISEASES OF THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM (J00-J99)
Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-J99), which include diseases that impact on the ability to breathe, accounted for 11,049 registered deaths in 2009, which was 7.9% of all registered deaths. In line with the pattern of previous years where more males than females died from this cause, there were 5,833 male deaths compared to 5,216 female deaths due to diseases of the respiratory system. Over the past ten years, females tended to be older than males for this underlying cause. This trend continued in 2009 with the median age at death for males 81.4 years and females 83.7 years.
In 2009, Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47) were the underlying cause of 5,978 deaths or 4.3% of all registered deaths. Chronic lower respiratory diseases include diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. More males than females died from this cause in 2009 (3,209 compared with 2,769). In 2009, the median age at death caused by chronic lower respiratory diseases was 80.4 years for males and 81.3 years for females.
In 2009, Pneumonia (J12-J18) accounted for 1,665 of the 1,796 registered deaths due to Influenza and pneumonia (J09-J18), or 1.2% of all registered deaths in Australia. As in previous years, more females died from pneumonia than males, with 964 female deaths compared with 704 male deaths. The median age at death for males was also lower, 85.3 years compared with 89.4 years for females.
The number of deaths from Pneumonitis (J69), which is similar to pneumonia but results from complications of inhalation of solids and liquids, has increased substantially over time, from 462 deaths in 2000 to 1,203 in 2009. The increase in deaths due to this cause was mainly in the 60 years and over age group. In 2000, 445 people aged 60 years or over died from pneumonitis, whereas in 2009, 1159 people aged 60 years or over died from this underlying cause.
In 2009, Swine flu (Influenza A - H1N1) was the underlying cause of 77 deaths or 0.05% of all registered deaths in Australia. The median age at death was 47.8 years. The ABS implemented World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines to code all swine flu deaths to the ICD-10 code of Influenza due to certain identified influenza virus (J09). Further information on swine flu deaths within the ABS dataset is provided in Explanatory Note 76.