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Death: Infectious Diseases

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many death certificates were issued in respect of deceased (a) men and (b) women which cited healthcare-associated infections as the underlying cause of death in each year since 2003, broken down by (i) age group and (ii) type of infection. (257555)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated February 2009:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many death certificates were issued in respect of deceased (a) men and (b) women which cited (i) healthcare-associated infections as the underlying cause of death in each year since 2003, broken down by (i) age group and (ii) type of infection. (257555)

There is currently no official definition of deaths from healthcare associated infection. The attached tables provide the number of deaths where Clostridium difficile (table 1) and Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (table 2), two specific types of healthcare associated infection, were mentioned on the death certificate as the underlying cause for (a) men and (b) women, by age group for 2003 to 2007 (the latest year available).

Table 1: Deaths with an underlying cause of Clostridium difficile,1 by age group and sex, England and Wales,2 2003-073

Deaths

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Age

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

<45

0

2

0

0

2

2

1

9

3

5

45-54

2

2

3

1

6

9

10

8

8

13

55-64

6

17

19

12

20

23

27

38

51

46

65-74

39

49

37

63

81

104

150

168

163

207

75-84

116

223

185

284

301

465

463

785

595

829

85+

135

377

189

436

265

785

519

1,312

609

1,527

1 Identified using the methodology described in Office for National Statistics: Report: Deaths involving Clostridium difficile: England and Wales, 2001-2005. “Health Statistics Quarterly” 33,71-75.

2 Figures for England and Wales include deaths of non-residents.

3 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.

Table 2: Deaths with an underlying cause of Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA),1 by age group and sex, England and Wales,2 2003-073

Deaths

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Age

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

<45

11

11

20

9

11

13

11

10

18

10

45-54

10

6

8

10

9

9

12

11

7

5

55-64

14

15

21

13

30

8

36

18

23

19

65-74

47

42

52

27

64

30

63

42

56

33

75-84

118

69

124

90

129

110

153

107

140

76

85+

73

75

82

91

111

118

139

105

131

112

1 Identified using the methodology described in Office for National Statistics: Report: Deaths involving MRSA: England and Wales, 2001-2005. “Health Statistics Quarterly” 33,76-81.

2 Figures for England and Wales include deaths of non-residents.

3 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.