• Trends in national mortality rates •  

Graphs showing time trends in mortality rates

Mortality trends for respiratory disease:

age <1 year, France

Random graph of national mortality trends

Legend: Any faint vertical lines which may be visible in the main plotting area indicate years in which the country changed its coding of causes of death to a new version of the International Classification of Diseases.

Method: Mortality rates were calculated using data from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Division, then smoothed (as weighted 3-year moving averages), but not standardised for age (as the age range is, in this instance, narrow). For details, see the Info page. With each calendar year, the rate is the number of infants who died in the first year of life per 100 000 living infants aged < 1 year at the middle of that year; it will generally be about (though seldom exactly) 100 times greater than the infant mortality rate, defined as the number of deaths in the first year of life per 1000 live births.French mortality rates in 1950-97 have been adjusted slightly to take account of an anomaly in the age categorisation: see 'Âge en années révolues ou âge atteint dans l’année' ('Age in completed years versus age reached during the year') by C. Hill and F. Doyon, in Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique 2005;53:205-8.

Caution: Trends can reflect not only changes in disease occurrence or treatment, but also changes in how a cause of death is defined or coded. (The same factors can also account for differences in mortality rates between different countries.) Those due to changes in definition or coding are artefacts, and may be indicated here by dotted (or thin) lines. But, many artefactual trends have no such indication.

World Health Organization (WHO) mortality rates for particular countries, ages and causes of death