Avoidable deaths 1981-2009
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Avoidable deaths is a term that refers to deaths, which could have been prevented by adequate disease prevention or therapy. Many diseases do not need to lead to death if they are diagnosed early or properly treated. Other causes of deaths can also be significantly affected by preventive measures, such as anti-smoking measures which may reduce lung cancer deaths. Avoidable deaths are thus above all a measurement of the effectiveness of the health care system and health policies.
There are number of competing definitions of avoidable deaths. In the current definition, the causes of deaths are based on the definition developed by the Swedish Health Authorities. Only persons in the age group 1-74 years are taken into account, except for respiratory diseases, asthma, measles and whooping cough, which refer to the age group 1-14 years. The rate of avoidable deaths refer to the number of deaths per 100 000 population.

Classification of causes of death according to the European shortlist and 9th revision of WHO's International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) 1981-1995 and to its 10th revision (ICD-10) 1996 and later.