Cause of Death

The Primary Care Mortality Database (PCMD) holds records of the underlying cause for each death. This is based on an international classification of diseases (the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision, ICD-10, World Health Organization, 2016) which identifies the medical condition judged to be the underlying cause of death. Underlying cause of death can be defined as 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.

The underlying cause may be a long-standing, chronic disease or disorder that predisposed the patient to later fatal complications. The diagram below shows the underlying cause of death for deaths registered in 2014 in the NHS Crawley CCG area. The size of each bubble represents the relative number of deaths.

Source: Primary Care Mortality Database (Health & Social Care Information Centre)

In 2014, the biggest underlying cause of death was disease of the circulatory system (216 deaths, 30.6% of all deaths in the CCG) which includes deaths caused by chronic ischaemic heart disease (61 deaths, 8.6% of all deaths), myocardial infarction (49 deaths, 6.9% of deaths), and stroke (39 deaths, 5.5% of all deaths). The second biggest underlying cause of death in 2014 for NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG was cancer with 205 deaths registered in the CCG being attributed to this disease group.