The concepts described on these pages are words and expressions used in statistics with a specific, limited meaning. In everyday speech the word may have a different meaning. In connection with each definition you can find information about which sets of statistics use the concept.

If you are looking for statistical figures, go from the definition to the statistics page.

Underlying cause of death

The underlying cause of death is the disease which has initiated the series of illnesses leading directly to death, or the circumstances connected with an accident or an act of violence which caused the injury or poisoning leading to death. The cause of death used in statistics (the so-called statistical underlying cause of death) is determined according to the selection and application rules of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Annual cause of death statistics are compiled according to the underlying cause of death.

Statistics using the definition

Validity of the definition

  • Valid until (31 December 2078)

Source organisation

  • WHO