Key messages

  • Avoidable mortality in Victoria improves population health through targeted interventions.
  • The report found that cardiovascular disease and cancers were responsible for more than half of the potentially avoidable deaths between 1997 and 2003.

Avoidable mortality is a simple and practical population-based method of counting untimely and unnecessary deaths from diseases for which effective public health and medical interventions are available. An excess of deaths due to preventable causes should suggest shortcomings in the healthcare system that warrant further attention.

Aggregated data

Five years of data has been aggregated for all analyses to reduce year-to-year variability in deaths, and the width of confidence intervals for areas with small populations. Data are presented by calendar year (1 January to 31 December) and are consistent with the release of mortality data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Avoidable mortality reports - interactive

Avoidable mortality reports are presented via links to the Victorian Health Information Surveillance System (VHISS), where you can select from a range of options to produce tailored graphs and tables.

These reports include:

  • all individual avoidable mortality rates
  • selected avoidable mortality rate trend
  • all individual avoidable mortality rate ratios
  • selected avoidable mortality rate ratio trend
  • selected avoidable mortality rate ratios.

Report on avoidable mortality trends

The first comprehensive study of avoidable deaths in Victoria is the report Avoidable Mortality in Victoria: Trends between 1997 and 2003.

This study analysed Victorian avoidable mortality rates over time and by sex, locality, socioeconomic status and accessibility to services. It allowed for identification of health inequalities that could potentially be addressed by targeting effective public health interventions to the most vulnerable sub-populations.

Findings include the fact that cardiovascular disease and cancers were responsible for more than half of the potentially avoidable deaths between 1997 and 2003.

The report also informed state and local government planners and policymakers in the development of health promotion and chronic disease prevention strategies.

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