Estimating Causes of Out-of-Hospital Deaths in China: Application of SmartVA Methods
28 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2019More...
Background: Most deaths in China occur at home, making it difficult to collect reliable cause of death (CoD) information. Verbal autopsy (VA) was applied using the SmartVA tool to a sample of home deaths in China to explore its feasibility as a means of improving the quality of CoD data.
Methods: The study was carried out in 22 districts in 9 provinces, located in north-east, central, and western areas of China during 2017 and 2018. Trained interviewers selected suitable respondents in each household to collect information using the Population Health Metrics Research Consortium (PHMRC) shortened and validated electronic VA questionnaire on tablets. The CoD was diagnosed from the interview data using the SmartVA-Analyze 2.0 software (Tariff 2.0).
Findings: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) dominated the leading causes of death in all age groups and for both sexes. After redistribution of undetermined causes, stroke (24%), ischemic heart diseases (IHD) (21%), chronic respiratory diseases (11%), and lung cancer (6%) were the leading causes of death. The cause fractions for level-one cause categories and ranking of specific causes were similar between SmartVA and results from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study.
Interpretation: Evidence from this large pilot study suggests that SmartVA can be a valuable tool to improve the quality and standardization of CoD information across China.
Funding Statement: Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative.
Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.
Ethics Approval Statement: The ethics committee from the National Center for Chronic Non-Communicable Disease Control and Prevention (NCNCD) of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention approved the study. Verbal informed consent was obtained and recorded for all participants.
Keywords: Verbal autopsy; Cause of death; Surveillance; China
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation