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2009 Cause of Death Coding Correction

In the summer of 2012, the New Jersey Department of Health's Center for Health Statistics (CHS) identified an excessive number of 2009 death records that were coded with unknown cause of death. The vast majority of these records were cases that had to go to the Medical Examiner for autopsy and their causes of death were not determined until after the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) had closed out their 2009 death file and thus were not run through the software NCHS uses to code causes of death and determine the underlying cause. The NCHS's Mortality Medical Classification Branch graciously agreed to recode the records in question in the spring of 2013.

Although NCHS provided the NJDOH with updated 2009 mortality data, they did not update their mortality data products, including printed reports, public use files, and CDC query systems such as CDC WONDER and WISQARS. This means that any New Jersey mortality data referenced in reports, studies, or newspaper articles that were taken from a federal source will also be incorrect.

Reports that we know of that have used the miscoded data are:

The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Wed, 06 December 2023 5:17:49 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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