Opening date: 20 May 2015
Closing date: 31 July 2015


The definition of avoidable mortality requires regular review primarily because deaths from a condition, which was previously not considered avoidable, may have since become avoidable in light of advances in medical technology and wider public health interventions. Also, there may be a case for reviewing the age limits within which deaths are considered avoidable, in light of increasing life expectancy and improvements to cause of death coding at older ages. We ran a public consultation to review our definition of avoidable mortality between 20 May and 31 July 2015.

We asked

  • Are there causes of death that you would like to see included in the amenable mortality definition?

  • Are there causes of death that you would like to see included in the preventable mortality definition?

  • Are the upper age limits included in the current definition still appropriate?

  • Would you find a separate avoidable mortality indicator for children and young people useful?

You said

  • The majority of you wanted a separate children and young people’s indicator of avoidable mortality. We will now review the recommendations and evidence in greater depth.

  • The majority of you thought we should include in our definition causes where the numbers of deaths are typically less than 100 (for example, measles and rubella).

  • Some of you highlighted the limitations posed by including deaths from Ischaemic Heart Disease in overall figures for amenable and preventable mortality.

We did

Published a paper on 27 May 2016 that outlines our recommendations for a revised definition of avoidable mortality and a new avoidable mortality definition for children and young people. The review considers evidence for including additional causes of death within the definitions of amenable and preventable mortality. The review also addresses consultation responses on current age limits, including the extension of the upper age limit.

Contact details


Postal address:
Mortality Analysis team
Office for National Statistics – Room 1059
Government Buildings
Cardiff Road
NP10 8XG