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Bull World Health Organ. 2016 Jan 1;94(1):46-57. doi: 10.2471/BLT.15.153148. Epub 2015 Oct 28.

An integrated national mortality surveillance system for death registration and mortality surveillance, China.

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National Center for Chronic and Non-communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 Nanwei Road, Xicheng District, Beijing, 100050, China .
Center for Health Statistics and Information, National Health and Family Planning Commission, Beijing, China .
School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia .
School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia .


in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish

In China, sample-based mortality surveillance systems, such as the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention's disease surveillance points system and the Ministry of Health's vital registration system, have been used for decades to provide nationally representative data on health status for health-care decision-making and performance evaluation. However, neither system provided representative mortality and cause-of-death data at the provincial level to inform regional health service needs and policy priorities. Moreover, the systems overlapped to a considerable extent, thereby entailing a duplication of effort. In 2013, the Chinese Government combined these two systems into an integrated national mortality surveillance system to provide a provincially representative picture of total and cause-specific mortality and to accelerate the development of a comprehensive vital registration and mortality surveillance system for the whole country. This new system increased the surveillance population from 6 to 24% of the Chinese population. The number of surveillance points, each of which covered a district or county, increased from 161 to 605. To ensure representativeness at the provincial level, the 605 surveillance points were selected to cover China's 31 provinces using an iterative method involving multistage stratification that took into account the sociodemographic characteristics of the population. This paper describes the development and operation of the new national mortality surveillance system, which is expected to yield representative provincial estimates of mortality in China for the first time.

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