Terms used in official statistics

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Causes of death


All diseases, medical conditions and injuries or poisonings, which caused or led to death, and the circumstances of the accident or violence which caused an injury.

The statistical data on the deaths by causes are compiled on the basis of the underlying (initial) cause of death. Underlying (initial) cause of death is a disease, which was the beginning of the disease process which caused the death. It may be also the injury or the poisoning, which caused the death.
In medical practice there are additionally distinguished causes of death: indirect cause of death (a disease, injury or circumstances of the accident which were the consequence of the initial cause of death) and direct cause of death (a disease which was a definitive cause of the death, which was a consequence of the disease, injury or the poisoning or the circumstances of the accident, which were the initial and indirect cause of death).
In the scope of case law on the causes of death, the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision (ICD–10) has been implemented in Poland since 1997.

High-level terms

Contact person on methodology:
GUS – Departament Badań Demograficznych
Amendments to the description of a concept:
  • Cause of death
    Description of the concept that applied to: 31.12.2017