"2006 Vital"Executive Summary
Rates & Ratios
Statistics and Trivia
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Vital Statistics - 2006
Data used to prepare this report are taken from birth and death certificates, fetal death reports,
marriage applications, divorce reports, ITOP, and paternity affidavits occurring in calendar year
2006 and filed in the office of the West Virginia Registrar of Vital Statistics prior to December 5,
2007. Vital events occurring to West Virginia residents in other states and recorded in the office
of the registrar by June 1 are also included in totals by residence.
Place of Residence vs. Place of Occurrence
Data on vital events can be reported in two ways: by county of residence or by county of occurrence. For example, Roane County reported 105 births as occurring within the confines of the county. However, resident births for the county for 2006 totaled 157. With the exception of Tables 6 and 14 (and Exhibit 11), natality data presented in this report are based on county of residence, and county resident populations are used to calculate rates.
With the exception of Table 27, mortality data are similarly reported by county of residence.
All statistics contain variations that are the result of chance. This characteristic is of particular
importance in classifications of events with small numbers, where small variations are proportionately
large in relation to base figures. For example, small changes in the number of deaths or births in small
population areas or in the number of deaths from uncommon causes could result in large changes in the
respective rates. For this reason, rates for counties with small populations or other small bases should
be used with caution.
The county has been used as the basic unit of tabulation throughout this report. Data have also been supplied for public health management districts and for the total state. In some instances, data have been supplied for individual cities.
Cause of Death Classification
The cause of death is coded from information contained in the medical certification section of the death certificate. This portion of the certificate is completed by the attending physician. In the case of unattended death, the medical examiner is responsible for investigation and certification.
Effective in 1999, the National Center for Health Statistics and the World Health Organization adopted the Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases Adapted for Use in the United States, 1999 (ICD-10). The deaths with codes A00 through T98 and Z00-Z99 were coded using the “nature of injury” causes, while those with codes V01 through Y98 were coded using the “external cause” of death. The external codes are used to indicate a death due to an external rather than an internal cause. Thus, a death from a gunshot wound would be coded using an external code, while a death due to cancer would not have an external code.
In several tables individual causes of death have been grouped into important selected causes of death.
See Appendix B, “Groupings of ICD-10 Codes,” for a listing of the selected causes of death.
The rates given in this publication were calculated using the 2006 estimated population figures from
the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. This can be found on the Internet at
The following is a list of the certificates and forms used in obtaining the data used in this publication. A sample copy of each can be found in Appendix A.
Suggestions and comments on alternate methods of data presentation are welcome. Forward any suggestions to the following address:
Health Statistics Center
RATES AND RATIOS
The impact of chance variation must be considered in evaluating categories with small frequencies.
For example, a small change in the number of infant deaths in a county can disproportionately affect
the infant mortality rate for that county. Rates for cities and counties therefore require special
consideration. Regional and state rates, with larger frequencies, provide more accurate data overall.
Rates used in this report are calculated with the 2005 estimated population figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.
Birth Rate (Crude) = (Number of live births / Population) X 1,000
Fertility Rate = (Number of live births to women aged 15-44/ Number of women aged 15-44) X 1,000
Teenage Fertility Rate = (Number of live births to women aged 15-19/ Number of women aged 15-19) X 1,000
Death Rate (Crude) = (Number of deaths / Population) X 1,000
Cause of Death Rate = (Number of deaths from a stated cause / Population) X 100,000
Infant Death Rate = (Number of infant deaths / Number of live births) X 1,000
Neonatal Death Rate = (Number of neonatal deaths / Number of live births) X 1,000
Fetal Death Ratio = (Number of fetal deaths / Number of live births) X 1,000
Maternal Death Rate = (Number of maternal deaths / Number of live births) X 100,000Top of Page
LIVE BIRTH - A live birth is the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a result of conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy, which, after such separation, breathes or shows any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles.
BIRTHWEIGHT - The weight of the fetus or infant at the time of delivery.
LOW BIRTHWEIGHT - A weight at birth of under 2,500 grams or 5 lbs., 8 oz.
CAUSE OF DEATH - The underlying cause of death, or that condition giving rise to the chain of events leading to death.
FETAL DEATH (STILLBIRTH) - Death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception, having passed through at least the 20th week of gestation.
INDUCED TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY (ITOP) - The purposeful interruption of an intrauterine pregnancy with the intention other than to produce a live-born infant that does not result in live birth. This excludes management of prolonged retention of products of conception following fetal death.
INFANT DEATH - Death occurring to an individual of less than one year of age.
NEONATAL DEATH - The death of a live-born infant that occurs within the first 27 days of life.
POSTNEONATAL DEATH - The death of a live-born infant that occurs after the 27th day of life but before one year of age.
MATERNAL DEATH - The death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy. This is irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes. ICD-10 codes A34, O00-O95, O98-O99.
OCCURRENCE DATA - Vital statistics compiled on the basis of where the vital event actually occurred.
PATERNITY AFFIDAVIT - A legal document signed by both parents stating who is the father of the child. Only unmarried mothers are permitted to do this.
RESIDENCE DATA - Vital statistics compiled on the basis of the usual place of residence of the person(s) to whom the vital event occurred. For births and fetal deaths, residence is defined as the mother's usual place of residence.
UNEMANCIPATED MINOR - Any person under the age of 18 years old who has never married or been emancipated from his or her own parents by some other process of law. A female under age 18 who has graduated from high school is considered emancipated for the purposes of parental notification on the performance of an induced termination of pregnancy.
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Health Statistics Center
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Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: (304) 558-9100 or
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