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Data on causes of death (COD) provide information on mortality patterns and form a major element of public health information. COD data refer to the underlying cause which - according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) - is "the disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death, or the circumstances of the accident or violence which produced the fatal injury". Causes of death are classified by theÂ 86 causes of the "European shortlist" of causes of death. This shortlist is based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD). COD data are derived from death certificates. The medical certification of death is an obligation in all Member States. Countries code the information provided in the medical certificate of cause of death into ICD codes according to the rules specified in the ICD. Data are broken down by sex, 5-year age groups, cause of death and by residency and country of occurrence. For stillbirths and neonatal deaths additional breakdows might include age of mother. Data are available for EU-28,Â the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Iceland, Norway, LiechtensteinÂ and Switzerland. Regional data (NUTS level 2) are available for most of the countries. Annual national data are provided in absolute number, crude death rates and standardised death rates. At regional level (NUTS level 2) the same is provided in form of 3 years averages. Annual crude death rates are also available at NUTS level 2.
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