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The proportion of injury deaths with unspecified external cause codes-- a comparison of Australia, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States

Lu, Tsung-Hsueh, Walker, Sue M., Anderson, Robert N., McKenzie, Kirsten, Bjorkenstam, Charlotte, & Hou, Wen-Hsuan (2007) The proportion of injury deaths with unspecified external cause codes-- a comparison of Australia, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States. Injury Prevention, 13(4), pp. 276-281.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT Background: The proportion of injury deaths with unspecified external cause codes has been used as an indicator of the level of comprehensiveness and specificity of information on death certificates provided by certifiers. Objective: To compare the proportion of unspecified external cause codes across countries. Methods: Multiple-cause-of-death mortality data for cases that died in 2001 due to external causes in Australia, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States were used for this international comparison study. The proportion of injury deaths coded as due to an unspecified external cause (ICD-10 Chapter XX) to all injury deaths in each block was calculated. Results: Sweden (33%) had the highest proportion of use of the least specific code (ICD-10 code X59 Exposure to unspecified factor), followed by Australia (17%), Taiwan (13%) and the USA (7%). More than two thirds of the deceased for whom an ICD-10 code X59 was assigned in Sweden and Australia were those aged 65 or above, and more than half of them had femoral fractures. The percentage of use of the unspecified codes within specific groups of external causes was relatively high for falls and unintentional drowning. Conclusions: Caution should be used in examining the compensatory effects of the unspecified external event code (ICD-10 code X59) on specific external causes (especially falls) when making international comparisons. Efforts are needed to educate certifiers to report sufficient information for specific coding so as to provide more useful information for injury prevention.

Impact and interest:

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8 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 9123
Item Type: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1136/ip.2006.012930
ISSN: 1353-8047
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance) (111711)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Research Centres > National Centre for Health Information Research & Training
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 23 Aug 2007
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2013 10:05

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