§ Mrs. Iris Robinson
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people died from deep vein thrombosis in the last 12 months; and in how many of these cases long haul air travel was found to be a contributory factor. 
§ Ruth Kelly
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.724W
Letter from Len Cook to Mrs. Iris Robinson, dated 18 November 2003
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many people died from deep vein thrombosis in the last 12 months; and in how many of these cases long haul air travel was found to be a contributory factor.
Virtually all deaths from deep vein thrombosis occur as a result of a pulmonary embolism, and most pulmonary embolisms arise from deep vein thrombosis in the leg. However, the precise description of this sequence of events leading to death (as provided on the death certificate) affects whether the death is coded as pulmonary embolism or thrombosis. Therefore, a figure combining the two causes is presented in the table below to give a complete and consistent picture over time.
It is not possible to state if long haul air travel was a contributory factor in deaths from deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism as this information is not routinely entered on the death certificate. The latest available data are for the calendar year 2002. The total number of deaths certified as due to deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in England and Wales in 2002 are therefore given in the table. I am supplying data for the last five years for comparison purposes.
Number of deaths from pulmonary embolism and deep vein
thrombosis,1 persons, England and Wales, 1998–20022
Calendar year Number of deaths 1998 6,992 1999 6,877 2000 7,233 2001 7,207 2002 7,009 1 The cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes 415.1, 451.1, 451.2, 451.9 and 453.9 for the years 1997 to 2000, and, for the year 2001, the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revisions (ICD-10) codes 126, 180.1, 180.2, 180.3, 180.9 and 182.9. 2 Figures are for deaths occurring in each calendar year.