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Korean Journal of Epidemiology 1989;11(2): 150-154.
우리나라 사망자료의 문제점과 개선방안
Problem and improvement of mortality data in Korea
Kwang Ho Meng
Mortality data are needed for purposes of demographic studies and for public health administration. They are needed to make the analysis of past population changes which are required for making projections of population and othe demographic characteristics. Moreover, analysis of mortality data is essential to programs of disease control. Health authorities use mortality data to determine administrative action needed to improve public health in the community. Unfortunately, however, this valuable health data suffer very much from inaccuracy of death certification and incompleteness of registration in most of the developing countries, and Korea is not an exception. According to the government statistical report, registration of deaths in Korea has been much improved now and the registration rate is almost 99%. However, the accurcy of death cetification is still very poor because only 40% of them are diagnosed by pysicians. Several measures can be considered to improve the accuracy of death certification. 1. Rate of death certification by physician should be increased. According to our current system, physician can only certify the death when he or she actually has seen the patient. This is not possible in most of the cases in Korea where the hospital death is not popular yet. The system should be corrected in such a way that physician’s certification can also be made based on the patient’s medical records. 2. Teaching of correctly identifying the cause of death should be strengthened both in medical school and in post-graduate training course. This could decrease the number of symptoms, signs, and ill-defined conditions category of disease classification and increase the quality of mortality data. At present, this unclassified deaths consists of more than 30% of all deaths reported. 3. Availability of mortality data should be increased. In Korea, currently, the mortality data are being analyzed and published only by the Statistical Bureau of Economic Planning- Board. This certainly limits the full usage of the data.


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