A comparison has been made between the coding of the cause of death by (a) the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) during the Oral Contraception Study and (b) the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) or the General Register Office for Scotland (GRO) on death certificates for the same subjects. Broad grouping of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) showed close agreement between RCGP and OPCS or GRO coding for all deaths which occurred from the start of the Oral Contraception Study in 1968 up to December 1978. Moreover, where discrepancies occurred there were no systematic differences between ever-users of oral contraceptive and non-users. Detailed examinations of discrepancies in the coding of the causes of those deaths included in the RCGP publication of October 1977 shows that our previous estimate of mortality risk associated with oral contraceptives would not be materially altered by the use of death certificate information.
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