More than 2 000 died from lung cancer
dodsarsak, Causes of death (discontinued), causes of death (for example cancer, cardiovascular diseases, accidents), deaths, place of death, fatal accidents, suicide, cot deaths, infant mortalityCauses of death, Births and deaths, Health, Population

Causes of death (discontinued)2005

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has the role of data processor for the Cause of Death Registry as from 1 January 2014, and is the publisher of causes of death statistics from the statistical year 2013. Applications for access to data held in the Cause of Death Registry should be sent to datatilgang@fhi.no.



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More than 2 000 died from lung cancer

The decline in mortality due to cardiovascular disease in recent decades continued in 2005. Overall cancer-related mortality continued to be stable, but the number of deaths from lung cancer increased.

In 2005, there were 41 152 deaths registered in Norway, comprising 21 087 women and 20 065 men. As in previous years, cardiovascular disease and cancer were the cause of more than 60 per cent of all deaths. However, mortality due to cardiovascular disease has been in decline for several decades, and this trend continued in 2005. In 1996, 205 deaths per 100 000 population were due to ischaemic heart diseases (cardiac infarction, angina pectoris, arterioscleroses), whereas the corresponding figure in 2005 was 131. The same positive trend can be seen in the decline in mortality from diseases affecting the brain’s blood supply (stroke, embolus, bleeding in brain arteries), which has fallen from 119 deaths per 100 000 population in 1996 to 80 deaths per 100 000 population in 2005.

Causes of death. 2005

Skin cancer on the rise

Cancer was the cause of 25.7 per cent of all deaths in 2005. This fairly moderate increase is due to cancer types with known causes (tobacco and excessive sunbathing). For the first time, the number of deaths from lung cancer passed 2 000, an increase of 10 per cent since 2001. Furthermore the number of deaths due to skin cancer increased by a substantial 29 per cent to 293 from 2001 to 2005. The decline in mortality due to cervix cancer also continued, but for the first time in many years there was no decrease in the number of people dying from breast or stomach cancer.

Relatively few infant deaths

Norway has one of the lowest infant mortality rates (number of infants who die before one year of age per 1 000 live births) in the world. Only Iceland, Singapore, Japan, Sweden and Finland have lower infant mortality rates (see World Health Organization). In 2005, 174 children died during their first year of life, giving an infant mortality rate of 3.1 per 1 000 live births. The table below shows infant deaths for 2004 and 2005 according to underlying cause of death and age. The table shows that there have been some changes in the underlying causes of death. To some extent these changes are the result of a new method for coding underlying causes of death (see below).


The number of deaths during the first year of living
  Total -24 hours 1-6 days 7-27 days 28 days-11 months
  -1 year 2004 2005 2004 2005 2004 2005 2004 2005
  2004 2005
Causes of death                    
Conditions in the perinatal period 80 93 24 30 26 38 19 13 11 12
Congenital malformations 64 42 17 10 13 11 12 8 22 13
Sudden infant death syndrome 14 20 0 0 0 0 4 6 10 14
External causes 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 2
Others 24 17 2 1 6 1 3 2 13 13
Total  187  174 43 41 45 50 38 29 61 54


Lack of medical death certificates

In recent years, Statistics Norway has focused on deaths that lack a medical death certificate, and as a result the share of lacking death certificates has fallen. An increasing number of Norwegian citizens die abroad, and for many of these deaths there is no official death certificate.

Deaths without medical death certificate

New system for classification of cause of death (ACME)

The mortality statistics are compiled in accordance with WHO regulations (ICD-10). ICD-10 includes a set of complex rules which determine the underlying cause of death based on the conditions entered by the physician in the cause of death section of the death certificate. Until the end of 2004, cause of death data were coded manually, but in 2005 the Norwegian Cause of Death Registry implemented a system for automated cause of death coding. This programme is called Automatic Coding of Medical Entities (ACME). By using ACME, the input information is given on the death certificate, and output is the underlying cause of death. Using automated data coding through ACME improves the consistency in data and the comparability of data, both within Norway and between countries (e.g. the Nordic countries).

Statistics Norway's Division for Health Statistics is the data processor for the Cause of Death Registry, which is owned by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI). For more information on causes of death, go to the FHI's website.