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WISQARS™ Tutorials: Leading Causes of Death

Leading Causes of Death

Report Options
Advanced Options
Practice Question

Some of the data in the Leading Causes of Death module are restricted. Please see the Data Use Restrictions before proceeding.

Note: The coding of mortality data changed significantly in 1999, so you may not be able to compare number of deaths and death rates from 1998 and before with data from 1999 and after. Also, cause-of-injury groupings were updated in 2003, which may affect some WISQARS mortality reports. Learn more here.

This image shows the types of reports for Leading Causes of Death. In this examples, the selected report it Leading Causes of Death 1999-2010, for National, Regional, and States (RESTRICTED).

For purposes of our tutorial, we will examine the option, Leading Causes of Death 1999-2010, National, Regional, and States (RESTRICTED).

This image shows all of the sections in the report for Leading Causes of Death 1999-2010, National, Regional, and States (RESTRICTED). You are asked to define the following elements, which will be displayed on the finished map: Census Region/State, Race, Sex, Year(s) of Report, Hispanic Origin, and Advanced Options (not required).

When selecting the Restricted option, you are taken to a page outlining the use restrictions of the data. Review and click "I Agree" to proceed.

Image: Screen capture showing the I Agree disclaimer for selecting the restricted option.

The options in this section are divided into two parts, Report Options and Advanced Options.

Report Options

Under Report Options, first we must define the Census Region. We will choose West as our region.

This image shows the options for Census Region. In this example, West is selected.

Next, under the Race options, we will select American Indian/Alaska Native.

This image shows the options for Race. In this example, American Indian/Alaska Native is selected.

For Sex, we will run this report for Males only.

This image shows the options for Sex. In this example, the option selected is Males.

Next we will determine the Year(s) of Report. Our example will explore Leading Causes of Death from 2005 to 2010.

This image shows the options for Year(s) of Report. The range of 2005 to 2010 is selected.

The next options, Hispanic Origin and Output Options (Printer friendly or text only), we will leave the default values of All for Hispanic Origin and Standard Output for Output Options.

This image shows Hispanic Origin and Output Options. In this example, the default values are selected: All for Hispanic Origina and Standard Output for Output Options.

At this point we have the option of submitting our request and generating a report now, or proceeding to the Advanced Options. We will explore some of those Advanced Options.

This image shows the Advanced Options (not required), including Number of Causes, Age Group Formatting, and Categories of Causes.

Advanced Options

Under Number of Causes, we will retain the default value of 10 to capture the Top 10 Leading Causes.

This image shows options for Number of Causes. The default option selected is 10.

For Age Group Formatting, we will input a Custom Age Range of ages 18 to 30.

This image shows Age Group Formatting. The option selected is Custom Age Range 18 to 30.

And finally, under Categories of Causes, we will select the option for All Deaths-with drill-down to ICD codes.

This image shows the options for Categories of Causes. In this example, the option selected is All Deaths - with drill-down to ICD codes.

We are now ready to Submit our Request.

This image shows the Submit Request button selected.

The resulting data look like this.

This image shows query results with the heading 10 Leading Causes of Death, West, 2005-2010, Am Indian/AK Natives, Males.

Practice Question

Now that you have familiarized yourself with the Leading Causes of Death module of the WISQARS tutorial, put your knowledge to the test by generating a report with the following objective:

In the state of Arizona, what is the leading cause of death for American Indian/Alaska Natives between the ages of 15 and 24 from 2005 to 2010?

Your query should have produced the result of Unintentional Injury, with 314 deaths, followed by Suicide (130) and Homicide (102).

HINT: Start by accepting the data restriction at this link: Leading Causes of Death 1999-2010, for National, Regional, and States (RESTRICTED). Then select from states in the dropdown menu for Census Region/State.

Note: Click on any colored box for detailed causes and ICD codes. Click on any age group for percentages.


  • Page last reviewed: September 2, 2014
  • Page last updated: September 2, 2014
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