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Perinatal deaths comprise stillbirths (fetal deaths) and deaths of infants within the first 28 days of life (neonatal deaths). New scope definitions were applied to the perinatals collection in November 2007 to achieve consistency between ABS collections and other external collections. See Perinatal Deaths, Australia, 2007 (cat. no. 3304.0) for the new scope definitions and historical data for the years 1999-2006 republished based on the new scope.
Causes of Death revisions process
All coroner certified deaths registered after 1 January 2006 are subject to a revisions process. For more information see Explanatory Notes 35-39.
Please note, the revisions process impacts only the causes of death assigned to a record. The revisions process does not impact on the identification of a record as perinatal, fetal or neonatal and therefore total counts will not change due to the application of the revisions process.
Where presented, this publication and associated data cubes contain final 2006, 2007, 2008 and revised 2009 causes of death data. Data for 2010 is preliminary and will be subject to the revisions process.
Trends in registered perinatal deaths
In 2010, there were 2,609 perinatal deaths registered in Australia, compared with 2,671 registered in 2009, a decrease of 2.3%. This was 1.5% higher than the number registered in 2001 (2,571).
The number of fetal deaths in 2010 was 1,767, 0.7% less than the number registered in 2009 (1,780), and representing an increase of 6.8% over the last decade (1,655 in 2001).
842 neonatal deaths were registered in 2010, 5.5% lower than the number registered in 2009 (891), and a 8.0% decrease from registrations in 2001 (916).
In 2010, there were 1,446 male perinatal deaths and 1,163 female perinatal deaths. The sex ratio was 124 male perinatal deaths for every 100 female perinatal deaths, compared with 122 males per 100 females in 2009.
In the 10 year period from 2001 to 2010, the lowest perinatal death rate was recorded in 2008 (8.4 deaths per 1,000 total births), while the highest perinatal death rate was recorded in 2005 (10.6 deaths per 1,000 total births) (see Glossary and Appendix 1: Data used in calculating death rates).
A similar trend was seen for fetal deaths, with 5.5 deaths per 1,000 total births in 2008 compared to 7.0 deaths per 1,000 total births in 2005.
During the same period the lowest neonatal death rate was recorded in 2010 (2.8 deaths per 1,000 live births), and the highest rate during the period was recorded in 2001 (3.7 deaths per 1,000 live births).
Footnote(s): (a) Perinatal deaths are all fetal deaths (at least 20 weeks gestation or at least 400 grams birth weight) plus all neonatal deaths (death of a live born baby within 28 days of birth). See Glossary for further information. (b) Fetal death rates and perinatal death rates are calculated per 1,000 all births for the calendar year. Neonatal death rates are calculated per 1,000 live births for the calendar year. See Glossary for further information. (c) All causes of death data from 2006 onward are subject to a revisions process - once data for a reference year are 'final', they are no longer revised. Affected data in this table are: 2006 (final) 2007 (final), 2008 (final), 2009 (revised), 2010 (preliminary). See Explanatory Notes 35-39 and Technical Notes, Causes of Death Revisions, 2006 and Causes of Death Revisions, 2008 and 2009.
Source(s): Causes of Death, Australia
Sources of perinatal death data
The Australian Bureau of Statistics publishes perinatal death data on an annual basis. Data for this publication are sourced from state and territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Care should be taken when comparing data in this publication to other available sources of information on perinatal deaths. For example, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) publish perinatal death data on an annual basis in the publication "Australia's Mothers and Babies". Data for the AIHW publication are sourced from midwives, and other staff, who collect information from mothers and perinatal administrative and clinical record systems.