Comparability of cause of death between ICD-9 and ICD-10: preliminary estimates

Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2001 May 18;49(2):1-32.


Objectives: This report presents preliminary results describing the effects of implementing the Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) on mortality statistics for selected causes of death effective with deaths occurring in the United States in 1999. The report also describes major features of the Tenth Revision (ICD-10), including changes from the Ninth Revision (ICD-9) in classification and rules for selecting underlying causes of death. Application of comparability ratios is also discussed.

Methods: The report is based on cause-of-death information from a large sample of 1996 death certificates filed in the 50 States and the District of Columbia. Cause-of-death information in the sample includes underlying cause of death classified by both ICD-9 and ICD-10. Because the data file on which comparability information is derived is incomplete, results are preliminary.

Results: Preliminary comparability ratios by cause of death presented in this report indicate the extent of discontinuities in cause-of-death trends from 1998 through 1999 resulting from implementing ICD-10. For some leading causes (e.g., Septicemia, Influenza and pneumonia, Alzheimer's disease, and Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis), the discontinuity in trend is substantial. The ranking of leading causes of death is also substantially affected for some causes of death.

Conclusions: Results of this study, although preliminary, are essential to analyzing trends in mortality between ICD-9 and ICD-10. In particular, the results provide a means for interpreting changes between 1998, which is the last year in which ICD-9 was used, and 1999, the year in which ICD-10 was implemented for mortality in the United States.

MeSH terms

  • Cause of Death*
  • Death Certificates*
  • Disease / classification*
  • Forms and Records Control / methods*
  • Forms and Records Control / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Mortality*
  • United States / epidemiology