To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the number of working days lost because of chronic pain in England in each year since 1997. 
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.
Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Paul Burstow, dated 21 July 2003:
As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how many people died from (a) strokes and (b) stroke-related diseases each year since 1997, broken down by age group. (126506)
I refer you to the answer given in Hansard on 18th July 2001, column 213 to Linda Perham MP indicating that figures are to be found in the annual reference volumes 'Mortality Statistics: Cause DH2.' The latest publication in this series contains figures for stroke for 2001 and is available on the National Statistics website at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_health/ Dh2_28/DH2No28.pdf
Causes of death in England and Wales were coded to the Ninth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) from 1979 to 2000. Cerebrovascular diseases, which includes stroke and related conditions, were coded to 430-438. In the Tenth Revision (ICD-10), introduced in 2001, the same conditions are coded to 160-169. However, the way in which the underlying cause of death is selected from the conditions written on the certificate changed in ICD-10. This led to an increase of approximately 13% in the number of deaths attributed to cerebrovascular diseases in men and 9% in women. Time trends should therefore be interpreted with caution. The effects of the change in classification has been described in detail in ONS publications.i, ii
iOffice for National Statistics. Results of the ICD-10 bridge-coding study, England and Wales, 1999. Health Statistics Quarterly 14 (2002), 75-83.
iiRooney C, Griffiths C, Cook L. The implementation of ICD-10 for cause of death coding—some preliminary results from the bridge coding study. Health Statistics Quarterly 13 (2002), 31-41.