National Records of Scotland

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Alcohol-specific Deaths (new National Statistics definition)

Alcohol-specific Deaths (new National Statistics definition)

The Coverage of the Statistics

The new National Statistics (NS) definition figures for alcohol-specific deaths count only deaths for which one of the conditions listed below was coded as the underlying cause. The codes are from the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), which has been used by National Records of Scotland (NRS) since the start of 2000.

NB: at first, figures on this basis were not available for 1999 or earlier years, because there are no exact equivalents of some of these codes in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Ninth Revision (ICD-9), which NRS used from 1979 to 1999. However, in June 2018, NHS Health Scotland published a series of alcohol-specific death rates going back to 1981, which it produced using what it felt was a broadly comparable set of ICD-9 codes, in the “Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) monitoring report 2018. NRS subsequently used its data for 1999, which had been “bridge coded” using both ICD-9 and ICD-10 (see Appendix 2 of the Registrar General’s Annual Report for 2000) to assess the compatibility of NHS Health Scotland’s choice of ICD-9 codes with the ICD-10 codes used in the National Statistics definition. NRS found that the figure for 1999 produced using the ICD-10 codes was the larger, but only by 0.9%, so statistics of alcohol-specific deaths would have a very small break in series between 1999 and 2000. NRS therefore used the ICD-9 codes listed below to produce its figures for alcohol-specific deaths for 1979 to 1999.

Causes of death wholly specific to alcohol consumption, 2000 onwards

This definition of alcohol-specific deaths was agreed with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2017, following a consultation (about which further information is available from the ONS website). 

ICD-10 Code

Description

E24.4

Alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome

F10

Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol

G31.2

Degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol

G62.1

Alcoholic polyneuropathy

G72.1

Alcoholic myopathy

I42.6

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy

K29.2

Alcoholic gastritis

K70

Alcoholic liver disease

K85.2

Alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis

K86.0

Alcohol induced chronic pancreatitis

Q86.0

Fetal induced alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic)

R78.0

Excess alcohol blood levels

X45

Accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol

X65

Intentional self-poisoning by and exposure to alcohol

Y15

Poisoning by and exposure to alcohol, undetermined intent

Causes of death wholly specific to alcohol consumption, 1979 to 1999 

The codes for alcohol-specific deaths that are listed below are the same as those that were used by NHS Health Scotland, with one exception: ICD-9 code 760.7 “Noxious influences transmitted via placenta or breast milk” is omitted, as it would be used if other types of substance (such as medicines and drugs) were taken by the mother, and there is no evidence that, in most of the cases for which it was used, the noxious influence was alcohol.

ICD-9 Code

Description

291

Alcoholic psychoses

303

Alcohol dependence syndrome

305.0

Nondependent abuse of alcohol

357.5

Alcoholic polyneuropathy 

425.5

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy

535.3

Alcoholic gastritis

571.0

Alcoholic fatty liver

571.1

Acute alcoholic hepatitis

571.2

Alcoholic cirrhosis of liver

571.3

Alcoholic liver damage, unspecified

790.3

Excessive blood level of alcohol

E860

Accidental poisoning by alcohol

 

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