Evaluation of the French reactive mortality surveillance system supporting decision making

Publié le 17 December 2018
Mis à jour le 10 janvier 2020

Background: in France, a mortality syndromic surveillance system was set up with objectives of early detection and reactive evaluation of the impact of expected and unexpected events to support decision makers. This study aims to describe the characteristics of the system and its usefulness for decision makers. Methods: anonymized data from the administrative part of death certificates were daily collected from 3062 computerized city halls and were transmitted to Santé publique France in routine. Coverage of the system was measured as the proportion of deaths registered by the system among the complete number of deaths and analyzed by age, month and region. Deaths were described by gender, age and geographical level using proportion. The excess periods of deaths were described based on the comparison of the weekly observed and expected numbers of deaths between 2012 and 2016. Results: the system recorded 77.5% of the national mortality covering the whole territory. About 81% of deaths were aged 65 years old and more. The surveillance system identified mortality variations mainly during winter and summer, for some concomitant with influenza epidemic or heatwave period, and thus provided information for decision makers. Conclusion: the ability of the system to detect and follow mortality outbreaks in routine in the whole territory has been demonstrated. It is a useful tool to provide early evaluation of the impact of threats on mortality and alert decision makers to adapt control measures. However, the absence of information on medical causes of death may limit the ability to target recommendations.

Auteur : Baghdadi Yasmine, Gallay Anne, Caserio-Schönemann Céline, Fouillet Anne
European Journal of Public Health, 2018, vol. 29, n°. 4, p. 601-607