Quantifying cause-related mortality by weighting multiple causes of death
AuthorPiffaretti, C; Moreno-Betancur, M; Lamarche-Vadel, A; Rey, G
Source TitleBulletin of the World Health Organization
PublisherWORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
University of Melbourne Author/sMoreno-Betancur, Margarita
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsPiffaretti, C., Moreno-Betancur, M., Lamarche-Vadel, A. & Rey, G. (2016). Quantifying cause-related mortality by weighting multiple causes of death. BULLETIN OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, 94 (12), pp.870-879. https://doi.org/10.2471/BLT.16.172189.
Access StatusOpen Access
OBJECTIVE: To investigate a new approach to calculating cause-related standardized mortality rates that involves assigning weights to each cause of death reported on death certificates. METHODS: We derived cause-related standardized mortality rates from death certificate data for France in 2010 using: (i) the classic method, which considered only the underlying cause of death; and (ii) three novel multiple-cause-of-death weighting methods, which assigned weights to multiple causes of death mentioned on death certificates: the first two multiple-cause-of-death methods assigned non-zero weights to all causes mentioned and the third assigned non-zero weights to only the underlying cause and other contributing causes that were not part of the main morbid process. As the sum of the weights for each death certificate was 1, each death had an equal influence on mortality estimates and the total number of deaths was unchanged. Mortality rates derived using the different methods were compared. FINDINGS: On average, 3.4 causes per death were listed on each certificate. The standardized mortality rate calculated using the third multiple-cause-of-death weighting method was more than 20% higher than that calculated using the classic method for five disease categories: skin diseases, mental disorders, endocrine and nutritional diseases, blood diseases and genitourinary diseases. Moreover, this method highlighted the mortality burden associated with certain diseases in specific age groups. CONCLUSION: A multiple-cause-of-death weighting approach to calculating cause-related standardized mortality rates from death certificate data identified conditions that contributed more to mortality than indicated by the classic method. This new approach holds promise for identifying underrecognized contributors to mortality.
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