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SSA Webinar: Do we die of only one cause?

  • 7 Feb 2020
  • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (UTC+11:00)
  • via Zoom, time stated is AEDT

The Statistical Society of Australia and the Australian Bureau of Statistics are pleased to announce the following joined webinar:

Do we die of only one cause?

Unlocking the full potential of multiple-cause mortality data

About this webinar

The assumption that exactly one disease is at the origin of death is debatable, especially with an aging population and the rise of chronic and degenerative diseases. Furthermore, death certificates contain information on all the diseases that contributed to death according to the expert certifier. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is responsible for the compilation of the national mortality dataset, and especially for the coding of the 160,000+ deaths that occur each year. The coding process captures information on all diseases and conditions mentioned on death certificates and a wide range of associated causes for coroner referred deaths. It is clear that this additional information is important. Still, mortality indicators and epidemiological studies usually focus on only one of these, the so-called 'underlying cause of death', and the remaining diseases mentioned are ignored. There are two aspects that make the use of these data challenging: the way the information is reported and coded is complex, and appropriate analysis methods have been lacking. The complexities, challenges and opportunities associated with using this rich dataset will be discussed at this webinar.

In the first part, James Eynstone-Hinkins and Lauren Moran from the Australian Bureau of Statistics will discuss current mortality data constructs and some of the benefits and limitations of underlying causes of death. They will also describe some of the existing uses of multiple-cause data and how future enhancements in classification and compilation could help unlock the potential of this rich data source. 

In the second part, Dr Margarita Moreno-Betancur, a researcher in biostatistical methods, will talk about her work developing the first formal survival analysis methods for modelling multiple-cause mortality by exploiting all the readily-available data from death certificates.

About the presenters

James Eynstone-Hinkins is the Director of Health and Vital Statistics at the ABS where he is responsible for the births, deaths, marriages, divorces and causes of death datasets. James has overseen a large program of work aimed at maximising the utility of the national mortality dataset, including improvements to timeliness and quality of underlying data. He works closely with the international statistical community on coding and classification issues, and for the past three years has been a member of the World Health Organization’s ICD-11 Task Force.

Lauren Moran is the Assistant Director of the Health and Vital Statistics Section where she heads the cause of death team. Lauren has expertise in death certification, and cause of death coding and analytics. She has led the delivery of large scale projects which enhance the use and value of health and population data including better use of multiple cause data for external causes of death.

Dr Margarita Moreno-Betancur is an ARC DECRA fellow, and Team Leader/Senior Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI). Since her PhD in Biostatistics (Université Paris-Sud, France), she leads research developing statistical methods motivated by analytical challenges arising in health and medical research studies, with focus on the areas of causal inference, missing data and survival analysis. This research is fuelled by various collaborative projects, particularly in life course and social epidemiology. She has leadership roles in the renowned Victorian Centre for Biostatistics (ViCBiostat) and the MCRI's LifeCourse Initiative, comprised of over 40 longitudinal cohort studies.

To register

This is a free event, but you will need to register. Click here to save your place. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

If you have any questions, please contact Mark Wicht.

Would you please note that the times stated are AEDT.

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