How much can we read from the cause-specific mortality time series? Exploring nearly four decades of reconstructed cause-of-death series of three European countries
Marketa Pechholdova, Charles University
Majority of the developed countries have been collecting data on causes of death since long in the past. Yet, due to its irregular nature, much of this data remains underexplored. We have reconstructed and documented detailed time series of cause-specific mortality in West Germany and Czech Republic, covering the 8th to the 10th WHO ICD revisions, and compared them to the existing time series for France. The country selection thus allows for observing the high-longevity cause-of-death pattern in comparison with the impact and recovery from a communist regime. Our present research was driven by questionning what type of information can be retrieved from an in-depth insight into cause-of-death statistics. We aim to show that, by a thorough analysis including statistically less important or „problematic“ causes of death, explanatory information relevant to the recent public health concerns and concepts (typically such as preventable mortality, diabetes or mental disorders) can be obtained.