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Ministry of Health

Foreword

The British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency is pleased to present the 2001 Annual Report, the one hundred and thirtieth published since the establishment of the Division of Vital Statistics in 1872. The tables, figures, and maps in this publication are based on information collected from registrations of live births, stillbirths, deaths, and marriages, and update provisional statistics released throughout the year in the Agency's Quarterly Digest.

This publication contains tables, figures, and maps that summarize selected information about the health of British Columbians. The report includes a detailed glossary, defining the terms and statistical methods used in the body of the publication, a list of the Agency's recent publications, and a set of Information Boxes to supplement the standard tables.

The Agency's 2000 Annual Report was one of the first publications providing information using the tenth revision of the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases(ICD-10) coding scheme, implemented at the beginning of the year 2000. Where possible, this report follows a format consistent with previous annual reports that present statistics from the current year along with comparative statistics from the preceding five years. Many changes in the codes and in the rules for selection of the underlying cause of death preclude direct comparison of data in ICD-10 with data from earlier years. Extensive manual reviews using translation tables in conjunction with recoding of data from ICD-9 to ICD-10 enabled the production of trend data. This approach is unique to publications of this Agency.

The 2001 Annual Report, like previous reports, includes summary data for incorporated communities, as well as statistics for local health areas (LHA). The 2001 Annual Report also includes aggregations of data by the New Era service delivery model announced by the government in 2002. The tables and statistics provided in this report have become standard health status indicators that are widely used by regional and provincial health care planners and managers.

One notable change in the 2001 Annual Report is the return of the Appendix 3 Summary Statistics Tables. The organization of these tables reflects the New Era boundaries. The summaries are grouped by Health Authorities (HA), Health Service Delivery Areas (HSDA) and by Local Health Areas (LHA). Similar organizational changes are used in Appendix 1. This change will provide the New Era Health Authorities with baseline health status indicators.

Vital Statistics would like to acknowledge the many groups and individuals who ensure complete and accurate recording of vital events. Their contributions have resulted in continual improvement in the quality of vital event data.

R.J. Danderfer
CEO/Director
British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency