Skip to main content

Death

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many death certificates mentioning (a) methadone, (b) cannabis, (c) benzodiazepine, (d) barbiturates, (e) steroids and (f) stimulants were issued in each of the last five years. (287370)

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated July 2009:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many death certificates mentioning (a) methadone, (b) cannabis, (c) benzodiazepine, (d) barbiturates, (e) steroids and (f) stimulants were issued in each of the last five years. (287370)

The table attached provides the numbers of deaths where the underlying cause was drug poisoning and (a) methadone, (b) cannabis, (c) benzodiazepines (d) barbiturates or (e) steroids were mentioned on the death certificate, either alone or together with other substances, in England and Wales, from 2003 to 2007 (the latest year available).

Where more than one drug is mentioned on the death certificate, it is not always possible to tell which of them was primarily responsible for the death.

Figures for deaths where stimulants are mentioned on the death certificate are not available. Stimulants include a broad range of substances, such as amphetamines and ecstasy, but there is no official definition that is used for statistical purposes.

Table 1: Number of deaths where drug poisoning was the underlying cause of death1 and methadone, cannabis, benzodiazepines, barbiturates or steroids were mentioned on the death certificate, England and Wales2, 2003-073

Deaths

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Methadone

201

219

220

241

325

Cannabis

11

19

19

17

12

Benzodiazepines

224

233

190

177

207

Barbiturates

20

16

14

17

6

Steroids

0

0

1

3

0

1 Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). Deaths were included where the underlying cause was due to drug poisoning (shown in the following table) and where the substances were mentioned on the death certificate either alone or together with other substances.

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

3 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.

ICD-10

Description

F11-F16, F18-F19

Mental and behavioural disorders due to drug use (excluding alcohol and tobacco)

X40-X44

Accidental poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

X60-X64

Intentional self-poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

X85

Assault by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

Y10-Y14

Poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances, undetermined intent

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many (a) men and (b) women aged (i) under 20, (ii) 21-30, (iii) 31-40, (iv) 41-50, (v) 51-60 and (vi) 61 years and above died from an underlying cause which was (A) obesity-related, (B) diabetes-related, (C) drug-related, (D) eating disorder-related and (E) related to a sexually transmitted infection in each of the last 10 years. (287377)

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many (a) men and (b) women aged (i) under 20, (ii) between 21 and 30, (iii) between 31 and 40, (iv) between 41 and 50, (v) between 51 and 60 and (vi) 61 years and above died from an underlying cause which was (A) obesity-related, (B) diabetes-related, (C) drug-related, (D) eating disorder-related and (E) related to a sexually transmitted infection in each of the last 10 years. (287377)

The tables attached provide the number of deaths for (a) males and (b) females aged (i) under 211, (ii) 21-30, (iii) 31-40, (iv) 41-50, (v) 51-60 and (vi) 61 years and over, where the underlying cause was (1) obesity (Table 1), (2) diabetes (Table 2), (3) an eating disorder (Table 3) or (4) a sexually transmitted infection (Table 4), in England and Wales, 1999 to 2008 (the latest year available), or (5) drug poisoning, in England and Wales, 1998 to 2007 (the latest year available) (Table 5).

The figures provided in Tables 1 to 4 reflect the number of deaths certified as due to the specified conditions. It is not possible to identify all deaths 'related' to these conditions. For example, obesity may play an important role in deaths due to heart disease or diabetes, but is rarely recorded on the death certificate. The figures presented for obesity in Table 1 are therefore likely to underestimate the actual number of deaths in which this factor is involved.

It is likely that the figures in Table 3 underestimate the actual number of deaths where an eating disorder was involved. This is because deaths registered after a coroner's inquest usually state the immediate physical condition which caused death as the underlying cause, and not any mental or behavioural disorder which may have led to that condition.

ONS monitors deaths from drug-related poisoning using a special database, developed to enable the analysis of deaths by the specific substances involved.

The deaths included are certified by Coroners following post-mortem and inquest. Figures for 1998 to 2007 have been provided as figures for 2008 are not yet available.

1 The specified age group 'under 20' has been amended to 'under 21’ so as not to exclude deaths at age 20 from the table.

Table: Number of deaths where the underlying cause was obesity1, England and Wales2, 1999-20083,4

Deaths

Sex/age group

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Males

Under21

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

21-30

3

4

0

2

4

4

2

3

3

2

31-40

12

12

10

5

13

12

15

14

20

15

41-50

8

12

17

19

16

13

18

25

28

36

51-60

11

17

24

21

17

23

31

26

35

34

61+

15

21

18

19

25

30

24

30

32

47

Females

Under21

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

21-30

1

4

2

2

3

2

3

3

5

8

31-40

7

11

13

14

10

9

8

15

10

17

41-50

18

12

18

18

30

22

21

23

18

30

51-60

24

17

22

22

42

39

38

41

34

43

61+

61

51

62

54

67

63

72

81

76

106

1 Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) code 278.0 (Obesity) for the years 1999-2000 and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code E66 (Obesity) for 2001 onwards. 2 Figures for England and Wales include deaths of non-residents. 3 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year. 4 Figures for deaths registered in 2008 are provisional.

Table 2: Number of deaths where the underlying cause was diabetes1, England and Wales2, 1999-20083,4

Deaths

Sex/age group

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Males

Under 21

3

7

2

6

7

5

4

5

4

6

21-30

21

14

18

18

17

16

19

18

15

29

31-40

54

54

55

50

57

54

37

45

33

47

41-50

84

94

104

86

90

91

106

98

75

83

51-60

230

187

237

204

205

182

180

166

153

167

61+

2,422

2,334

2,538

2,541

2,559

2,374

2,292

2,236

2,241

2,317

Females

Under21

10

3

7

6

5

5

8

6

7

5

21-30

5

14

9

13

9

12

9

16

23

17

31-40

22

43

35

49

30

28

29

32

37

20

41-50

59

45

44

57

61

56

54

55

69

66

51-60

124

119

104

128

149

115

108

122

109

101

61+

2,915

2,848

3,001

3,029

3,124

2,908

2,799

2,691

2,667

2,683

1 Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) code 250 (Diabetes mellitus) for the years 1999-2000 and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes E10-E14 (Diabetes mellitus) for 2001 onwards . 2 Figures for England and Wales include deaths of non-residents. 3 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year. 4 Figures for deaths registered in 2008 are provisional.

Table 3: Number of deaths where the underlying cause was an eating disorder1, England and Wales2, 1999-20083,4

Deaths

Sex/age group

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Males

Under 21

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

21-30

1

2

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

31-40

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

41-50

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

51-60

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

61+

1

0

1

0

0

2

0

1

0

1

Females

Under21

2

2

1

2

3

2

2

3

0

1

21-30

3

1

1

4

3

3

2

0

3

5

31-40

5

4

5

4

6

1

4

4

2

3

41-50

4

6

2

2

2

3

2

6

5

7

51-60

1

4

3

4

0

0

3

0

2

2

61+

4

6

5

8

3

3

3

6

5

5

1 Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes 307.1 (Anorexia nervosa), 307.S (Other and unspecified disorders of eating), 783.0 (Anorexia) and 783.6 (Polyphagia) for the years 1999-2000, and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code P50 (Eating disorders) for 2001 onwards. 2 Figures for England and Wales include deaths of non-residents. 3 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year. 4 Figures for deaths registered in 2008 are provisional.

Table 4: Number of deaths where the underlying cause was a sexually transmitted infection1, England and Wales2, 1999-20083,4

Deaths

Sex/age group

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2006

2006

2007

2008

Males

Under 21

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

21-30

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

31-40

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

41-50

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

51-60

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

61+

3

1

2

2

2

3

3

0

0

1

Females

Under 21

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

21-30

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

31-40

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

41-50

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

51-60

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

61+

5

0

1

0

1

1

1

0

0

2

1 Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes 090-099 (Syphilis and other venereal diseases) for 1999-2000, and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes A50-A64 (Infections with a predominantly sexual mode of transmission) for 2001 onwards. 2 Figures for England and Wales include deaths of non-residents. 3 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year. 4 Figures for deaths registered in 2008 are provisional.

Table 5: Number of deaths where the underlying cause was drug poisoning1, England and Wales2, 1998-20073,4

Deaths

Sex/age group

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Males

Under 21

157

154

120

126

125

102

73

65

71

62

21-30

680

670

611

650

598

473

455

447

425

467

31-40

551

661

671

690

636

613

665

665

601

683

41-50

342

333

371

352

302

309

313

360

381

393

51-60

116

144

147

163

141

120

194

191

168

181

61+

139

174

138

162

139

124

156

159

136

128

Females

Under 21

75

74

59

58

55

49

53

56

35

21

21-30

178

185

148

162

158

137

146

115

117

96

31-40

228

191

190

205

172

192

184

198

161

165

41-50

166

180

165

184

183

182

195

218

159

176

51-60

117

125

116

118

115

127

122

127

132

113

61+

227

219

196

223

206

195

231

161

184

155

1 Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) for 1998-2000, and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) from 2001 onwards. The codes for drug poisoning are shown in Box 1 below. 2 Figures for England and Wales include deaths of non-residents. 3 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year. 4 Figures for deaths registered in 2008 are provisional.

Box 1. International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes used to define drug-related poisoning deaths by underlying cause

Description

ICD-9

ICD-10

Mental and behavioural disorders due to drug use (excluding alcohol and tobacco)

292, 304, 305.2-305.9

F11-F16, F18-F19

Accidental poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

E850-E858

X40-X44

Intentional self-poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

E950.0-E950.5

X60-X64

Assault by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

E962.0

X85

Poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances, undetermined intent

E980.0-E980.5

Y10-Y14