Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.19, No.1, 2003. pp. 71–79

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Ischemic Heart Disease and Acute Myocardial Infarction as Cause of Death in a Cause-of-death Register

Mortality can serve as a measure of prognoses of a disease and of the effects of treatment. The accuracy of cause-of-death in the register is important.

For a stratified simple random sample, a new death certificate was completed on the basis of hospital records from the last episode of care.

Of the 239 patients whose official underlying cause of death was ischemic heart disease (IHD), 215 were deemed by the panel to have IHD. Within the IHD group, 153 patients officially had acute myocardial infarction (AMI) as the underlying cause of death and out of those, 113 were deemed by the panel to have AMI. Autopsy did not seem to improve the accuracy.

The recommendation as to follow-up cohorts concerning AMI must be to read carefully the last clinical record of the deceased or keep in mind that AMI as underlying cause of death in the registers is accurate primarily when death occurs before the age of 45 years.

Mortality statistics; validity; international classification of diseases.

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