Intended for healthcare professionals


Immediate, underlying, and macro-underlying causes

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 15 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1425
  1. Anna Goodman, masters student (
  1. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London

    When filling in death certificates, doctors list both the immediate cause of death and the underlying cause, be that a disease which initiated the train of morbidity leading to death or the circumstances surrounding the accident which produced a fatal injury. Identifying underlying causes in this way provides information of great importance to public health …

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