HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

Potentially avoidable deaths

  • + Source

    Mortality estimates for years up to 2005 are based on Australian Bureau of Statistics death registration data. Data from 2006 onwards were provided by the Australian Coordinating Registry, Cause of Death Unit Record File; the data for the most 2 recent years are preliminary (SAPHaRI, Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health)

  • + Notes

    Potentially Avoidable Deaths (PAD) are based on National Healthcare Agreement: PI 16-Potentially avoidable deaths

    Only NSW residents are included. Rates were age-adjusted using the Australian population as at 30 June 2001.

    Counts of deaths for the latest years of data include an estimate of the number of deaths occurring in that year but registered in the next year. Data on late registrations were unavailable at the time of production.

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  • + Methods
  • + Codes
    • Codes: Potentially avoidable deaths

      The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems

      National Centre for Classification in Health, Australia; AM - Australian Modification

      Potentially Avoidable Deaths (PAD) are based on National Healthcare Agreement: PI 16-Potentially avoidable deaths

      Selected invasive infections A38–A41, A46, A48.1, G00, G03, J02.0, J13–J16, J18, L03  
      Viral pneumonia and influenza J10–J12  
      HIV/AIDS B20–B24  
      Colorectal C18–C21  
      Skin C43, C44  
      Breast C50 Female
      Cervix C53  
      Prostate C61 Male
      Kidney C64  
      Thyroid C73  
      Hodgkin's disease C81  
      Acute lymphoid leukaemia/Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia C91.0 0-44 years
      Diabetes E10–E14  
      Diseases of the circulatory system    
      Rheumatic and other valvular heart disease I00–I09, I33–I37  
      Hypertensive heart and renal disease I10–I13  
      Ischaemic heart disease I20–I25  
      Cerebrovascular diseases I60–I69  
      Heart failure I50, I51.1, I51.2, I51.4, I51.5  
      Pulmonary embolism I26  
      Diseases of the genitourinary system    
      Renal failure N17–N19  
      Diseases of the respiratory system    
      COPD J40–J44  
      Asthma J45, J46  
      Diseases of the digestive system    
      Pepticulcer disease K25–K27  
      Maternal & infant causes    
      Complications of the perinatal period P00–P96  
      Complications of pregnancy, labour or the puerperium O00–O99  
      Selected external causes of morbidity and mortality    
      Falls W00–W19  
      Fires, burns X00–X09  
      Suicide and self-inflicted injuries X60–X84, Y87.0  
      Misadventures to patients during surgical and medical care Y60–Y69  
      Medical devices associated with adverse incidents in diagnostic and therapeutic use Y70–Y82  
      Surgical and other medical procedures as the cause of abnormal reaction of the patient, or of later complication, without mention of misadventure at the time of the procedure Y83, Y84  
      Other external causes of morbidity and mortality    
      Transport accidents V01–V99  
      Exposure to inanimate mechanical forces W20–W49  
      Exposure to animate mechanical forces W50–W64  
      Accidental drowning and submersion W65–W74  
      Other accidental threats to breathing W75–W84  
      Exposure to electric current, radiation and extreme ambient air temperature and pressure W85–W99  
      Contact with heat and hot substances X10–X19  
      Contact with venomous animals and plants X20–X29  
      Exposure to forces of nature X30–X39  
      Accidental poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances X40–X49  
      Overexertion, travel and privation X50–X57  
      Accidental exposure to other and unspecified factors X58,X59  
      Assault X85–Y09  
      Event of undetermined intent Y10–Y34  
      Legal interventions and operations of war Y35, Y36  
      Drugs, medicaments and biological substances causing adverse effects in therapeutic usen Y40–Y59  
      Sequelae of external causes of morbidity and mortality Y85, Y86, Y87.1–Y89  

  • + Related Indicators
  • + Associated Information
    • Key points: Potentially avoidable deaths

      • The rate of potentially avoidable deaths has decreased by around 20% in the last 10 years between 2008 and 2017. The rate in 2017 was 96.2 per 100,000 population (125.9 per 100,000 males and 67.3 per 100,000 females, with the male rate 1.9 times higher than the female rate).

      • Aboriginal people died from potentially avoidable deaths at a rate around 2.4 times higher than non-Aboriginal people in the combined years 2012 to 2016.

      • The rate of potentially avoidable deaths increases with increasing geographic remoteness, but has decreased over time for most categories of geographic remoteness.

      • The rate of potentially avoidable deatsh increases with increasing levels of socioeconomic disadvantage.

    • Introduction: Potentially avoidable deaths

      Potentially Avoidable Deaths (PAD) are based on National Healthcare Agreement: PI 16-Potentially avoidable deaths.

      Potentially avoidable deaths are those that occur before age 75 years and are caused by conditions that are potentially preventable through individualised care and/or treatable through existing primary or hospital care. Deaths are defined as avoidable in the context of the present health system.

    • Interventions: Potentially avoidable deaths

      Interventions aimed at reducing potentially avoidable deaths in NSW are embedded in strategies dealing with specific health issues or specific disadvantaged populations. Variation in potentially avoidable death rates among health regions reflect the distribution of the underlying social and economic determinants of health which are associated with the geographic clustering of populations of lower socioeconomic status, high Aboriginal populations and populations with a high prevalence of disease risk factors. Other factors such as access to primary health care and other health services, particularly specialist treatment services may also contribute to this variation.

      Health services are increasingly able to manage chronic diseases and prolong life and more conditions are regarded as amenable to health care. Because this trend should continue, the rate of potentially avoidable deaths is likely to continue to decrease in the short- to medium- term. Reductions in the longer term, however, depend upon sustainable declines in the risk factors which cause the greatest number of potentially avoidable deaths. Ongoing prevention programs are required to reduce the prevalence of these risk factors in the population, including smoking, obesity, inadequate physical activity and poor nutrition.  

    • For more information: Potentially avoidable deaths

      Useful websites include:

      Australian Bureau of Statistics at

      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at

      healthdirect at

    • Key points: Deaths

        • In 2017, there were 52,613 deaths of residents in NSW. The number of deaths has increased by around 9% in the 10 years since 2008. However, the death rate has decreased by around 15% over this period due to an increasing population

        • The age standardised death rate was 508.8 per 100,000 population in NSW in 2017.  

        • In 2017 the age-adjusted male death rate was around 48% higher than the female death rate (615.9 compared with 416.3 per 100,000 population respectively). This difference has declined from 51% over the last 10 years since 2008.

        • In 2017, there were 277 infant deaths in NSW, which was 2.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. The infant mortality rate in Australia was 3.3 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017.

    • Introduction: Deaths


      Death or mortality statistics are published at regular intervals in most countries and usually show numbers and rates of deaths by sex, age and other variables. A death rate is an estimate of the proportion of the population that dies during a specified period (Last 2001). In this report it is expressed as the number of deaths per 100,000 population (person-years).

      The proportion of people in different age groups varies between geographic areas and over time and can therefore influence death rate comparisons within these dimensions. Age-adjustment (also known as age-standardisation) allows for the comparison of death rates across geographic areas and over time after removing the effects of the different age structures in these dimensions.

      Refer to the Methods tab for more information.

      Death rates internationally

      Death rates from all causes are low in Australia and NSW by international standards. The World Health Organization classifies Australia into an ‘A stratum’, with very low child and adult mortality. Comparisons by country reveal that the probability of dying between 15 and 60 years per 1,000 population (WHO calculated adult mortality rate) spans from around 50 in selected developed countries to just under 500 in some African counties. Australia’s rate was 61 per 1,000 in 2016, which placed it in 16th out of 183 reported countries (WHO 2018).


      World Health Organization. World health statistics. Geneva: WHO. Available at:

    • Interventions: Deaths

      Interventions aiming to reduce deaths rates in NSW are embedded in strategies dealing with specific health issues or specific disadvantaged populations.

    • For more information: Deaths

      Useful websites include:

      Australian Bureau of Statistics at

      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at

      healthdirect at

Last Updated At: Tuesday, 17 September 2019