Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Print version ISSN 0042-9686
HOA, Nguyen Phuong et al. Mortality measures from sample-based surveillance: evidence of the epidemiological transition in Viet Nam. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2012, vol.90, n.10, pp.764-772. ISSN 0042-9686. http://dx.doi.org/10.2471/BLT.11.100750.
OBJECTIVE: To report methods and results from a national sample mortality surveillance programme implemented in Viet Nam in 2009. METHODS: A national sample of 192 communes located in 16 provinces and covering a population of approximately 2.6 million was selected using multi-stage cluster sampling. Deaths for 2009 were identified from several local data sources. Record reconciliation and capture-recapture methods were used to compile data and assess completeness of the records. Life tables were computed using reported and adjusted age-specific death rates. Each death was followed up by verbal autopsy to ascertain the probable cause(s) of death. Underlying causes were certified and coded according to international guidelines. FINDINGS: A total of 9921 deaths were identified in the sample population. Completeness of death records was estimated to be 81%. Adjusted life expectancies at birth were 70.4 and 78.7 years for males and females, respectively. Stroke was the leading cause of death in both sexes. Other prominent causes were road traffic accidents, cancers and HIV infection in males, and cardiovascular conditions, pneumonia and diabetes in females. CONCLUSION: Viet Nam is undergoing the epidemiological transition. Although data are relatively complete, they could be further improved through strengthened local collaboration. Medical certification for deaths in hospitals, and shorter recall periods for verbal autopsy interviews would improve cause of death ascertainment.