Mortality in sufferers from Down's syndrome over the age of 1 year in the 1970s was analysed using the Wessex Mental Handicap Register linked to the NHS Central Register. Of the 1045 subjects, 37 died during the period of the study; the standardised mortality ratio based on England and Wales mortality was 5.39. Mortality ratios were high between the ages of 1 and 14 compared with older ages. Bronchopneumonia and congenital heart disease were the main causes of death. Problems with certification and selection of underlying cause of death showed the potential value of multiple-cause coding.
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