Health Statistics Center

"1998 Vital"

(Main Page)



Other Information

Executive Summary




Place of Residence vs. Occurrance | Statistical Variation | Geographic Classification | Cause of Death Classification | International Classification of Diseases | Population | Forms

Data used to prepare this report are taken from birth, death, fetal death (stillborn), marriage,and divorce certificates of the events occurring in calendar year 1998 and files in the Office of the West Virginia Registrar of Vital Statistics prior to June 1, 1999. 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, Lincoln County reported 108 deaths as occurring within the confines of the county. However resident deaths for the county for 1998 totaled 237. With the exception of Table 25, the mortality data presented in this report are based on county of residence, as county resident populations are used to calculate rates.

With the exception of Table 6, birth data are similarly reported by county of residence.

Return to top of page.

Statistical Variation
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.

Return to top of page.

Geographic Classification
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.

Return to top of page.

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. As a general rule, data preceding 1949 cannot be accurately compared with those of later years due to the extensive revision of the coding rules made at that time; however, large causal categories can be compared. See Appendix B, "Groupings of ICDA Codes," for a listing of the selected causes.

Return to top of page.

International Classification of Diseases (ICDA)
The primary cause of death was coded in accordance with the Ninth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases Adapted for Use in the United States, 1975 (ICDA). The deaths with codes 000 through 799 were coded using the "nature of injury" causes, while those with codes 800 through 999 were coded using the E or "external cause" of death. The E 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 E code, while a death due to cancer would not have an E code.

In several tables individual causes of death have been grouped into important selected causes of death. The ICDA codes for the different groupings can be found in Appendix B.

Return to top of page.

The rates given in this publication were calculated using the 1998 population estimates from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.

Return to top of page.

The following is a list of the certificates and forms used in obtaining the data used in this publication.

  • Certificate of Live Birth
  • Physician's/Medical Examiner's Certificate of Death
  • Certificate of Fetal Death
  • Application for Marriage License
  • Monthly Report of Divorces and Annulments of Marriages Granted

Suggestions and comments on alternate methods of data presentation are welcome. Forward any suggestions to the following address:

Health Statistics Center
Office of Epidemiology and Health Promotion
350 Capitol Street, Room 165
Charleston, WV 25301

Telephone: (304) 558-9102
FAX: (304) 558-1787
E-Mail: dhhrvitalreg@wv.gov

Return to top of page.


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 realistic data.

  • Rates used in this report are calculated with the 1998 population estimates from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.
  • Birth Rate (Crude) = Number of live births X 1,000
  • Death Rate (Crude) = Number of deaths X 1,000
  • Cause of Death Rate = Number of deaths from a stated cause X 100,000
  • Infant Death Rate = Number of infant deaths X 1,000
  • Neonatal Death Rate = Number of neonatal deaths X 1,000 Fetal Death Ratio = Number of fetal deaths X 1,000
  • Maternal Death Rate = Number of maternal deaths X 100,000
Return to top of page.


LIVE BIRTH - A live birth is the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product 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.

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 - Deaths due to delivery or a complication of pregnancy, childbirth, or the puerperium as defined by the International Classification of Diseases.

OCCURRENCE DATA - Vital statistics compiled on the basis of where the vital event actually occurred.

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.

Return to top of page.

APPENDIX B (Of printed versions)


  • 010-018 Tuberculosis
  • 038 Septicemia
  • 042-044 Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection
  • 140-208 Malignant Neoplasms
  • 150-159 --of Digestive Organs and Peritoneum
  • 153 ----of Colon
  • 157 ----of Pancreas
  • 160-165 --of Respiratory and Intrathoracic Organs
  • 162 ----Trachea, Bronchus, and Lung
  • 174 --of Female Breast
  • 179-189 --of Genitourinary Organs
  • 180 ----Cervix Uteri
  • 179, 182-183 ----Ovarian and Other Uterine
  • 185 ----Prostate
  • 188 ----Bladder
  • --All Other (Malignant Neoplasms)
  • 210-239 Benign Neoplasms, Carcinoma in Situ, and Neoplasms of Unspecified Nature
  • 250 Diabetes Mellitus
  • 390-448 Major Cardiovascular Diseases
  • 390-398, 402, 404-429 --Diseases of the Heart
  • 410-414 ----Ischemic Heart Disease
  • 401, 403 --Hypertension
  • 430-438 --Cerebrovascular Disease
  • 440 --Arteriosclerosis
  • 441-448 --Other Diseases of the Arteries, Arterioles, and Capillaries
  • 480-487 Pneumonia and Influenza
  • 480-486 --Pneumonia
  • 487 --Influenza
  • 490-496 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Allied Conditions
  • 490-493 --Bronchitis, Emphysema, and Asthma
  • 500-508 Pneumoconiosis and Other Lung Disease Due to External Agents
  • 500 --Coal Worker's Pneumoconiosis
  • 571 Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis
  • 580-589 Nephritis, Nephrotic Syndrome, and Nephrosis
  • 740-759 Congenital Anomalies
  • 760-779 Certain Conditions Originating in the Perinatal Period
  • 765 --Disorders Relating to Short Gestation and Unspecified Low Birthweight
  • 767-769 --Birth Trauma, or Asphyxia, Intrauterine Hypoxia, and Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  • 780-799 Symptoms, Signs, and Ill-defined Conditions
  • E800-E949 Unintentional Injuries, All Forms
  • E810-E825 --Motor Vehicle Injuries
  • E880-E888 --Falls
  • E890-E899 --Fires and Flames
  • E910 --Drownings
  • --All Other (Unintentional Injuries)
  • E950-E959 Suicide
  • E960-E969 Homicide
  • All Other Causes (Residual)
Cover Photo of 1998 Vital Statistics publication

Cover Photo - 40K


For information or questions concerning page contents, please contact:

Bureau for Public Health
Office of Epidemiology and Health Promotion
Health Statistics Center
(304) 558-9100

Last updated 03/15/00.