Suburban Cook County Selected Causes of Death

What are vital statistics death data?

Vital statistics collects information about the major health events in people's lives such as births, deaths, and hospitalizations and serves as one of the most important and reliable sources of data for national, state, and local public health agencies. This dataset focuses on deaths.
For every death that occurs, a physician, coroner, medical examiner, funeral director or other professional completes a death certificate which includes demographic information about the decedent as well as the cause and manner of death. Most death certificates are submitted electronically to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Vital Statistics Office where they are collected and processed and then shared with local health departments.
The Cook County Department of Public Health then compiles this data and makes it available on the Cook County Open Data portal (to see the full dataset click here) as well as pdf tables available on the Cook County Department of Public Health’s (CCDPH) website.

Which causes of death are in the data set and how were they selected?

Deaths are classified into 113 causes in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision published by the World Health Organization. This data set highlights the most common causes of death organized into 7 categories (All Causes, Cancer, Cardiovascular Diseases, Other Chronic Diseases, Injury and External Causes, Infant and Childhood Mortality, and Communicable/Infectious Diseases).

What time period is the data available for?

Data is available from 2000-2017 and will be updated on an annual basis. There is a substantial lag time between date of death and IDPH processing procedures.

What counts and rates are included?

Counts indicate the total number of deaths or the specific cause of interest. If there are fewer than 5 deaths, CCDPH suppresses those numbers to preserve data privacy. Suppressed data appears as a blank in the dataset.
Crude rates are useful for comparing deaths rates among the same age groups. Age-adjusted rates are useful when comparing the rates of two population groups. When the numbers of cases or deaths used to compute rates are small, those rates tend to have poor reliability. Therefore, rates based on counts under 20 are suppressed due to reliability concerns and represented by a blank in the dataset.

Which geographic areas are included?

Geographic areas include:

What demographic information is available?

Data is available by age group, race/ethnicity, gender. Note that racial/ethnic categories included in the dashboard have been predetermined by the original source from the death certificate.

What can this data be used for?

This data set provides answers to such questions as:
What is the mortality rate for different populations in SCC?

The overall age-adjusted mortality rate for SCC is approximately 700 deaths per 100,000 population. Disparities in mortality rates are evident when comparing the overall age-adjusted mortality rates for the south suburbs (approx. 900 deaths per 100,000 population and the north suburbs (approx. 580 deaths per 100,000) 

What are the leading causes of death in SCC?
Chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer and stroke account for most deaths in SCC.
Are drug overdose death rates higher than rates due to motor-vehicle accidents?
Since 2006, age-adjusted mortality rates for drug overdoses been increasingly higher than those for motor vehicle accidents.
What are factors associated with mortality rates?
In this example, age-adjusted mortality rates are compared to median family income by municipality. As income increases, mortality rates decrease. Those with lower incomes have higher rates of mortality.

How does CCDPH use this data?
  • It is the primary source of information for identifying and monitoring chronic diseases and other public health problem
  • To identify health problems and monitor health programs
  • To describe the health status of a defined community by looking at changes in the community over time or by comparing health events in that community to events occurring in other communities or the state as a whole.
  • For program planning and evaluation
  • To prioritize public health issues and allocate resources