In the following extract from mortality statistics is a large entry of 320,065 deaths during the year due to "All other diseases (residual)" from the CDC. Note that it is uncoded whereas all the other causes of death are coded. What does this mean?

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Note that this single entry is the 3rd leading cause of death (after heart disease and cancer) so it is important.

I know that in cancer there is something called "minimal residual disease" meaning residual cancer cells that regrow and cause a relapse, however in that case I would have expected the mortality to coded as cancer, so this category would seem to be something different, or no?


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In statistics, the "residual" is what is left over after accounting for the other predictors. I'd suggest that residual is being used here in a similar way. When you classify causes of death, some are easy to put into groups which can also be then sub-categorized (e.g., accidents / transport). In a large population, there will be many deaths that can't be classified in such as easy way and/or a set of causes of death that are relatively rare. In the latter case, if the CDC were to list all of those rare causes of death, then the overall list would be really really long. So I think they are lumping together all the cases of death that are either of unknown cause (think of older people who die of "natural causes" who do not receive autopsies) or of known but very rare cause.

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