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The coroners and medical examiners in the nine provinces and territories currently covered by the Canadian Coroner and Medical Examiner Database investigated 98,623 deaths that occurred in the period 2006 to 2008.  This represents about 16% of all deaths that occurred during the three years.

New Brunswick had the highest rate of investigation of all provinces, both in terms of the percentage of all deaths investigated by a coroner or medical examiner (around 25% annually) and relative to its population (2.1 coroner's investigations per 1,000 population), where it led all jurisdictions; Quebec had the lowest for both rates.

In the seven provinces, the annual coroner and medical examiner caseloads were relatively stable over the three years, both in terms of raw number and the percentage of deaths investigated. In the two territories, the number of deaths investigated by the coroners seems somewhat more variable, however in each case there is general agreement for two of the three years.

In general, male decedents accounted for almost two thirds of coroner and medical examiner caseload.

Investigations involving males age 50 to 69 represented the greatest share of coroner or medical examiner cases in all provinces and territories except New Brunswick and Ontario, where males aged 70 to 89 represented the greatest share of coroner caseload.

Among females, investigations involving those aged 70 to 89 represented the greatest share of coroner or medical examiner cases, although this result is driven by Ontario, and to a lesser extent New Brunswick and Saskatchewan; elsewhere, caseload share was similar between the 50 to 69 and 70 to 89 age groups.

In all provinces and territories and in all age groups, except those aged 90 and over, male decedents, subject to a coroner or medical examiner investigation, outnumber their female counterparts.

Persons aged 15 to 29 years were the most likely subjects of a coroner or medical examiner investigation in both males and females, where between 72 and 92% of deaths were coroner or medical examiner cases, depending on province or territory.

The 30 to 49 and 50 to 69 age groups showed the greatest disparities between males and females: the death of a male in these age groups was between 1.4 and 2.9 times more likely to have been the subject of a coroner or medical examiner investigation than the death of a female.

Over 60% of all coroner and medical examiner investigations led to a determination of death by natural causes, followed by accidental death at 23%, suicides, undetermined and homicides. This pattern holds true for most of the provinces and territories.

Quebec had a more balanced caseload than the other provinces, with natural deaths accounting for 36% of investigations, followed closely by accidents (32%) and suicides (28%). Elsewhere, there seems to be an east-west disparity with respect to caseload distribution: Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Ontario have similar distributions in the East; and the three western provinces and two territories have similar distributions.

In general, death by natural causes was the predominant manner of death in people aged 0 to 23 months and people aged 39 years or older, with accidental deaths representing the second highest proportion of deaths in these age groups. Exceptionally, in deaths of people aged 0 to 11 months, the manner of death could not be determined for over 25%.

Among those aged 2 to 29 years, accidental deaths accounted for the largest percentage of coroner or medical examiner investigations, with natural deaths accounting for the second largest share of caseload. The lone exception was for decedents aged 15 to 29, where suicide accounted for 25% of deaths investigated by a coroner or medical examiner, and natural deaths only 11%.

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