National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Vital Events Reference Tables 2009

Vital Events Reference Tables 2009

Section 6: Deaths - Causes

Causes of death are coded in accordance with the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (Tenth Revision) (ICD10). Classification of underlying cause of death is based on information collected on the medical certificate of cause of death together with any additional information provided subsequently by the certifying doctor. Changes notified to the National Records of Scotland (NRS) by Procurators Fiscal are also taken into account. In cases of homicide, suicide, and other deaths from violence, advice may be sought from the Crown Office. On 1 January 1996 NRS introduced an automated method of coding cause of death. A detailed note on this may be found in Appendix 1 of the Annual Report 1996 (available on this website).

From 1 January 2000, deaths in Scotland have been coded using the latest, tenth, revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries and Causes of Death (ICD10).

Note: the death rates given in the tables in this section have been superseded. They were produced using the original mid-year population estimates for 2002 onwards, which have been superseded by 'rebased' population estimates which take account of the results of the 2011 Census. Revised versions of some of these figures (which were produced using the 'rebased' population estimates) can be obtained from revised versions of the Vital Events Reference Tables for 2012 can be found on this website. 

More information about the rebasing of the mid-year estimates, and the consequential temporary break in some of the Vital Events statistics series (such as birth rates and death rates) is available from the Births and Deaths Rates: breaks in series circa 2011 section of this website.


Correction of error

We regret that, until 25 March 2011, over a fifth of the figures on the first page of Table 6.2 appeared on a wrong row, due to a 'pasting' error. The figures which were for the cause of death / sex categories from 'C43 Malignant melanoma of skin F' to 'D50-89 III Diseases of the blood …. F', inclusive, all appeared on rows which were either one or two rows below the row with the appropriate side-heading. The cause of the problem was an error in the 'copying-and-pasting' of the figures into that part of the table (this error did not affect the other figures on that page, nor the figures on the other pages). The table has now been corrected, and we will change the layout of the table for 2011 onwards in order to reduce the likelihood of such an error occurring again. We apologise for any problems or inconvenience caused by our error.

Cause lists used in these Reference Tables:

The full 3-character list (Table 6.4) shows all 3-character ICD10 codes for which at least one death was recorded during 2009.

The summary list (Table 6.1, Table 6.2 and Table 6.3) is closely based on a short list of 65 categories recommended by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The NRS list presents 66 categories, including sub-totals for all the main ICD10 Chapters. In the tables using this list, the sub-categories do not necessarily sum to the main groups. The one additional category identified in the NRS list is 'malignant neoplasm of the larynx'; this is combined with 'trachea, bronchus and lung' in the 65 category list.

Years of life lost (Table 6.13). Provides information on years of life lost for selected causes of death. Simply, the number of years of life lost is the sum of the differences between the age at death and 90 for 'total' years lost or 65 for years of 'working' life lost. Note that the age at death is taken to be the mid-point of a 5 year age band. The period of 'total' life lost is deemed to include all deaths up until the age of 90, so anyone dying at the age of 93 would contribute zero years to the total. The 'working' life period covers all ages between the ages of 15 and 64, and it is assumed that any death under the age of 15 contributes 50 years to the 'working' life lost total. For example someone dying at the age of 38 would contribute 28 years (37 (mid-point of 35-39 year age band) subtracted from 65) to the 'working life' lost total.

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Table 6.1

Deaths, by sex and cause, Scotland, 1999 to 2009
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6.2

Deaths, numbers and rates, by sex, age and cause, Scotland, 2009 (Corrected 25 March 2011)
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6.3

Deaths, by sex, cause and administrative area,  Scotland, 2009
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6.4

Deaths, by sex, age and cause, Scotland, 2009
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6.5

Deaths by frequency of cause by sex, numbers and percentages, Scotland, 1986 to 2009
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6.6

Death rates from malignant neoplasms (all sites), by sex and age, Scotland, 1950 to 2009
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6.7

Death rates from malignant neoplasms, by sex, age and selected sites, Scotland, 1950 to 2009
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6.8

Death rates from ischaemic heart disease, by sex and age, Scotland, 1950 to 2009
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6.9

Death rates from cerebrovascular disease, by sex and age, Scotland, 1950 to 2009
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6.10

Deaths from road transport accidents, by sex and age, Scotland, 1946 to 2009
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6.11

Intentional self-harm and events of undetermined intent, Scotland, 1981 to 2009
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6.12

Deaths from poisoning, by sex and cause, Scotland, 2009
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6.13

Deaths aged under 90, years of 'working life' lost and years of 'life to age 90' lost due to mortality from selected causes, per 10,000 population, Scotland, 2009
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6.14

Average age at death, selected causes, Scotland, 1977 to 2009
(Excel    CSV    PDF)


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