Multiple causes of death data are useful for describing the role of all diseases involved in deaths. This bulletin is the first comprehensive application of multiple causes of death statistics to natural causes of death and specific chronic diseases of public health importance in Australia. It may be useful for guiding and improving policy for reducing deaths from these chronic diseases and for targeting future investment in health prevention.
When describing patterns of causes of death using only the underlying cause, important cause information is overlooked. Analyses using multiple cause data complement routine descriptions of mortality that use only the underlying cause and offer broader insight into the disease processes occurring at the end of life.