Classification of health conditions

The list of health conditions that underpin this analysis (and their organisation into cause groups and specific causes) is shown below (Cause list). The classification of the health conditions into groups and causes are mutually exclusive (non-overlapping). The cause list was designed to reflect the disease and conditions that are commonly reported on and monitored in Australia, as well as to fit with a multiple cause analysis approach.  

Cause groups: 21 cause groups each comprising a set of related specific causes, for example, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and mental and behavioural conditions. The cause list also includes the following groups:

  • Injury which includes specific causes to reflect the types of injuries involved in causing death.
  • Ill-defined which includes modes of dying such cardiac or respiratory arrest and respiratory failure. These are ill-defined as an underlying cause of death. Due to their involvement in causing death, it is necessary to identify these conditions in a multiple cause of death analysis.
  • Unspecified or undetermined includes deaths where the cause was not able to be determined. This could occur, for example, where there is insufficient detail recorded on the medical death certificate.
  • Psychosocial includes non-medical factors, such as social determinants, that play a role in a person’s life and death. These include, for example, (adverse) childhood events, issues with support systems, employment-related issues or suicide ideation.

Specific causes: there are 197 specific causes in the cause list used here; each is aligned to one of the 21 cause groups.

Cause list: Cause group and cause name, International Classification of Disease (ICD-10) code inclusions