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"2002 Vital"Executive Summary
Rates & Ratios
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Vital Statistics - 2002
Data used to prepare this report are taken from birth and death certificates,
fetal death reports, marriage applications, and divorce reports occurring
in calendar year 2002 and filed in the office of the West Virginia Registrar
of Vital Statistics prior to December 5, 2003. 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, Taylor County reported 159 deaths as occurring within the confines of the county. However resident deaths for the county for 2002 totaled 198. 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.
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 and Appendix D, “NCHS
Supplements,” for an explanation of ICD-10.
The rates given in this publication were calculated using the 2002 estimated
population figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the
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 2002 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
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.
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.
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Last updated 9/8/04.