Accuracy of Death Certifications and the Implications for Studying Disease Burdens

  • J. R. Pierce
  • A. V. Denison


For at least five centuries,  death certificates had been used by governments and scientists to judge the health of populations, study epidemiologic associations, and formulate public policy. In most modern countries, the maintenance, dissemination, and study of  vital statistics is an important governmental function. Death certificates are also important legal documents. Many previous studies have established significant inaccuracies in the cause of death as reported on death certificates. Other studies have reported inaccuracies in demographic information, such as race, occupation, and alcohol use, as reported on death certificates. Despite these limitations, death certificates remain an important tool for researchers,  population health scientists, and policymakers. Strategies to improve the accuracy of death certificates include education of certifiers, performance of more autopsies, and comparison of information on death certificates to similar information contained in other databases.


Vital Statistic Death Certificate Verbal Autopsy Death Registration Registration Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


 International Classification of Disease


United Kingdom


United States of America


World Health Organization


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Authors and Affiliations

  • J. R. Pierce
  • A. V. Denison

There are no affiliations available

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