International 

Health: Data Definitions and Sources

Life expectancy

2009 data. The 2009 data for Canada and Italy were projected using the previous 10-year growth rate. Where possible, missing historical data have been interpolated between two available data points.

Life expectancy at birth is the average number of years a person can be expected to live.

Source: OECD, Health Data 2011.

Self-reported health status

2010 data for Denmark. 2009 data for Canada, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, the U.K., and the United States. 2008 data for Belgium, France, Germany, and Norway. 2007 data for Australia, Japan, and Switzerland. 2006 data for Austria.

This indicator measures the percentage of the population, aged 15 years or older, who report their health to be “good” or “very good.”

Source: OECD, Health Data 2011.

Premature mortality

2009 data. The 2009 data for Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.S. were projected using the previous 10-year growth rate. Where possible, missing historical data have been interpolated between two available data points.

This indicator measures the potential years of life lost (PYLL) due to all causes, per 100,000 population in a given year. PYLL measures the additional years a person would have lived had he or she experienced normal life expectancy, added up for the whole population. The calculation of PYLL involves summing up deaths occurring at each age and multiplying this by the number of remaining years of life up to a selected age limit. The limit of 70 years has been chosen for the calculations in the OECD’s Health Data.

Source: OECD, Health Data 2011.

Mortality due to cancer

2009 data. The 2009 data for Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.S. were projected using the previous 10-year growth rate. Where possible, missing historical data have been interpolated between two available data points.

This indicator measures the annual number of deaths due to cancer per 100,000 population in a given year.

Source: OECD, Health Data 2011.

Mortality due to circulatory diseases

2009 data. The 2009 data for Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.S. were projected using the previous 10-year growth rate. Where possible, missing historical data have been interpolated between two available data points.

This indicator measures the number of deaths due to circulatory diseases per 100,000 population in a given year.

Source: OECD, Health Data 2011.

Mortality due to respiratory diseases

2009 data. The 2009 data for Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.S. were projected using the previous 10-year growth rate. Where possible, missing historical data have been interpolated between two available data points.

This indicator measures the number of deaths due to respiratory diseases per 100,000 population in a given year.

Source: OECD, Health Data 2011.

Mortality due to diabetes

2006 data. The 2006 data for Belgium were projected using the previous 10-year growth rate. For Canada, 2005 and 2006 data were obtained by applying the Statistics Canada growth rates for these years to the latest 2004 data available from the OECD. Where possible, missing historical data have been interpolated between two available data points.

This indicator measures the number of deaths due to diabetes mellitus per 100,000 population in a given year.

Source: OECD, Health Data 2011.

Mortality due to musculoskeletal system diseases

2009 data for Austria, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom. 2008 data for France and Sweden. 2007 data for Italy, Switzerland, and the United States. 2006 data for Australia, Denmark, and Germany. 2005 data for Belgium. 2004 data for Canada.

This indicator measures the number of deaths due to diseases of the musculoskeletal system per 100,000 population in a given year.

Source: OECD, Health Data 2011.

Mortality due to medical misadventures

2007 data for Austria, Finland, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. 2006 data for Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden. 2005 data for Norway and the United States. 2004 data for Australia and Canada. Recent data were not available for Belgium and Switzerland.

This indicator measures the number of deaths due to misadventures to patients during surgical and other medical care per 100,000 population in a given year. Example of misadventures (or adverse events) include an unintentional cut, puncture, perforation, or bleeding during medical and surgical care; a foreign object accidentally left in body (e.g., a gauze during surgical operation); failure of sterile precautions; failure to administer a correct dosage (including an excessive amount of blood or other fluids, incorrect dilutions or electroshock, overdose of radiation or drugs, inappropriate temperature, and non-administration of necessary drugs); use of contaminated or biological substances; and other misadventures (e.g., mismatch of blood used in transfusion, performance of inappropriate operation, wrong fluid used in infusion, endotracheal tube wrongly placed). Many of these misadventures have been listed by the National Quality Forum in the United States as “serious reportable events” that should never happen to a patient (“never events”).1 Misadventures to patients during surgical and other medical care is an important indicator of the quality of health care services.

Source: OECD, Health Data 2011.

Mortality due to mental disorders

2009 data for Austria, Finland, Ireland, Japan Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom. 2008 data for France and Sweden. 2007 data for Italy, Switzerland, and the United States. 2006 data for Australia, Denmark, and Germany. 2005 data for Belgium. 2004 data for Canada.

The number of deaths due to mental disorders per 100,000 population.

Source: OECD, Health Data 2011.

Infant mortality

2009 data for most countries. 2008 data for the United States. 2007 data for Canada.

This indicator measures the number of infant deaths—that is, deaths of children under one year of age—per 1,000 live births.

Source: OECD, Health Data 2011.

Footnotes

1 National Quality Forum, Serious Reportable Events, June 2002 (accessed September 13, 2009).