COVID-19 Cause of Death Reference Set

Use Case(s)

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tracks provisional coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mortality data. The CDC NCHS also provides mortality data related to pneumonia and influenza.

“Pneumonia and influenza deaths are included to provide context for understanding the completeness of COVID-19 mortality data and related trends. Deaths due to COVID-19 may be misclassified as pneumonia or influenza deaths in the absence of positive test results, and these conditions may appear on death certificates as a comorbid condition. Thus, increases in pneumonia or influenza deaths may be an indicator of excess COVID-19-related mortality. Additionally, estimates of completeness for influenza or pneumonia deaths may provide context for understanding the lag in reporting for COVID-19 deaths, as it is anticipated that these causes would have similar delays in reporting, processing, and coding.”



COVID-19 Cause of Death Reference Set

Purpose of Refset

The purpose of this reference set is to document the cause of death from or related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). References LOINC code 69453-9 Cause of death [US Standard Certificate of Death] and SNOMED CT observable entity concept 184305005 Cause of death (observable entity).

Examples of what to include

CDC NCHS reported causes of death:

  • COVID-19

  • Pneumonia

  • Influenza

Examples of what to exclude


Zero or one OR Zero or more

Zero or more

Editorial Guidelines

The CDC NCHS causes of death should be represented with SNOMED CT concepts that are descendants of 419620001 |Death (event)|.

Similar SOLOR Refsets (assemblages)

None at this time

Associated Value Sets

None at this time