3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2008 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/03/2010   
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DATA CUBES

Further information on multiple cause of death is presented in the datacubes associated with this publication. These include the number of associated causes for all 3-digit underlying causes, as well as the number of mentions of each cause at the 3-digit level of ICD-10.


Number of Multiple Causes

For the 143,946 deaths registered in Australia in 2008, there were 466,538 causes mentioned, giving a mean of 3.2 causes per death. In 18% of all deaths, only one cause was reported, while 39% of deaths were reported with three or more causes. The mean number of causes reported per death varies with age, sex and underlying cause of death.


Selected Multiple Causes

In 2008, Malignant cancers (C00-C97) contributed to 32.8% (47,179) of all deaths as either an underlying or multiple cause. There were mentions of 59,205 Malignant cancers reported in 2008.

Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25) which includes angina, heart attacks, and blocked arteries of the heart, were found to contribute to 27.6% of all deaths as either an underlying or multiple cause.

The following table lists selected causes of death, both underlying and associated causes, appearing on death certificates for deaths registered in 2008.

5.1 SELECTED MULTIPLE CAUSES OF DEATH (a) - 2008(b)(c)(d)

Underlying cause
Multiple cause
Underlying
Proportion of total deaths
Multiple
Proportion of total deaths
Mean causes per death
Cause of death and ICD code
no.
%
no.
%
no.

All Causes
143 946
-
143 946
-
3.2
Malignant cancer (C00-C97)
41 341
28.7
47 179
32.8
2.5
Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25)
23 665
16.4
39 785
27.6
3.6
Strokes (I60-I69)
11 973
8.3
21 658
15.0
3.1
Dementia and Alzhiemer's disease (F01-F03, G30)(e)
8 171
5.7
20 007
13.9
3.1
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)
6 255
4.3
15 352
10.7
3.7
Diabetes (E10-E14)
4 191
2.9
14 461
10.0
4.4
Heart failure (I50, I51)
3 360
2.3
21 035
14.6
3.2
Diseases of the kidney and urinary system (N00-N39)
3 224
2.2
19 663
13.7
3.7
Influenza and pneumonia (J10-J18)
1 742
1.2
19 075
13.3
2.0
Hypertensive diseases (I10-I15)
1 824
1.3
19 874
13.8
4.5
Suicides (X60-X84, Y870)(f)
2 191
1.5
2 198
1.5
2.7
Land transport accidents (V01-V89, Y850)(g)
1 325
0.9
1 384
1.0
2.7

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Number of deaths and percentages may add to more than totals because a death certificate can report more than one leading multiple cause.
(b) 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 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.
(d) Data cells with small values have been randomly assigned to protect the confidentiality of individuals. As a result, some totals will not equal the sum of their components. Cells with a zero value have not been affected by confidentialisation.
(e) See Explanatory Note 65 for further information on data relating to Dementia.
(f) Includes Sequelae of suicide (Y87.0). Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to Suicide due to limitations of the data, see Explanatory Notes 72-75.
(g) Includes Sequelae of transport accidents (Y85). Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to transport accidents for 2008. See Explanatory Note 69 for further information.



Relationships between Multiple Causes

Influenza and pneumonia (J10-J18) was identified as the underlying cause for 1,742 deaths in 2008. In 46.8% of cases, Influenza and pneumonia were reported alone and were typically the least likely of the selected causes to be reported with other associated causes.

In contrast, Diabetes (E10-E14) was reported alone as the underlying cause in only 1.0% of the 4,191 deaths attributed to this cause. It was reported more frequently with the associated causes of Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25) including angina, heart attacks and blocked arteries of the heart (50.8%) and Hypertensive diseases (I10-I15, 35%).

The following table illustrates relationships between the various causes of death in 2008.

5.2 SELECTED UNDERLYING CAUSES WITH ASSOCIATED CAUSE (a) - 2008(b)(c)(d)

Underlying cause
Reported alone
Reported with selected associated cause
Cancers (C00-C97)
Ischaemic heart disease (I20-I25)(e)
Strokes (I60-I69)
Dementia & Alzheimer's disease (F01-F03, G30)
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)(f)
Diabetes (E10-E14)
Heart failure (I50-I51)
Diseases of the kidney & urinary system (N00-N39)
Influenza and pneumonia (J10-J18)
Hypertensive diseases (I10-I15)
Cause of Death and ICD code
no.
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

All Causes
143 946
17.6
32.8
27.6
15.0
13.9
10.7
10.0
14.6
13.7
13.3
13.8
Cancers (C00-C97)
41 341
35.3
100.0
8.9
3.7
3.2
6.6
6.3
3.7
7.7
7.0
6.7
Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25)(e)
23 665
10.8
6.7
100.0
9.7
11.3
10.1
11.5
27.5
13.9
7.4
21.3
Strokes (I60-I69)
11 973
14.3
5.2
12.8
100.0
18.3
3.8
7.8
5.7
6.6
12.8
29.0
Dementia & Alzheimer's disease (F01-F03, G30)
8 171
10.9
4.6
11.3
10.8
100.0
3.3
7.3
7.4
11.6
35.1
11.2
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)(f)
6 255
6.0
8.1
21.2
5.1
7.7
100.0
7.0
17.6
10.3
34.4
10.1
Diabetes (E10-E14)
4 191
1.0
6.4
50.8
21.9
14.4
6.7
100.0
21.0
31.0
9.0
35.0
Heart failure (I50-I51)
3 360
12.5
4.3
1.4
8.2
11.2
10.1
7.3
100.0
22.6
23.0
7.0
Diseases of the kidney & urinary system (N00-N39)
3 224
6.7
5.9
24.6
7.2
10.8
5.6
7.8
23.5
100.0
15.2
3.6
Influenza and pneumonia (J10-J18)
1 742
46.8
1.4
6.4
1.4
2.7
1.9
1.8
4.9
4.1
100.0
1.8
Hypertensive diseases (I10-I15)
1 824
4.4
6.2
1.2
8.4
19.6
7.3
9.6
39.1
32.1
11.1
100.0

(a) This table presents data for selected causes only. Therefore numbers and percentages due to reporting of underlying cause with selected associated causes do not add to totals.
(b) 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 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.
(d) Data cells with small values have been randomly assigned to protect the confidentiality of individuals. As a result, some totals will not equal the sum of their components. Cells with a zero value have not been affected by confidentialisation.
(e) Includes angina, heart attacks and blocked arteries of the heart.
(f) Includes asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.



External Causes

In 2008, there were 14,684 deaths where External causes (V01-Y98) contributed to the death as a multiple cause. There was a mean of 3.5 causes coded for each of the 8,804 deaths with External causes as the underlying cause of death.

Transport accidents (V01-V99, Y85) accounted for 16% of all injuries with an External cause as the underlying cause of death, with 37% of these injuries being to the head or thorax (S00-S09, S20-S29). Suicide (X60-X84, Y87.0) accounted for 25% of total injuries with an External causes as the underlying cause of death, and of these, Asphyxiation (T71) was the most common injury (53%).

Care should be taken in interpreting numbers of Suicide deaths. For further information on 2008 Suicide data, see Explanatory Notes 72-75, Technical Note 1: 2008 COD Collection - Process Improvements and Chapter 6 of this publication.




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