Correlation between trends in all-cause mortality and trends in cause-specific mortality, European countries, 1970-2009. a. Men. b. Women. Notes: We regressed age-adjusted cause-specific mortality rates and all-cause mortality rates, using ordinary least squares regression, according to a method originally developed by Preston [Preston SH: Mortality patterns in national populations, with special reference to recorded causes of death. New York: Academic Press; 1976.] but modified by us by including country dummies to allow for between-country differences in levels of mortality. The graphs present partial correlation coefficients between cause-specific mortality rates on all-cause mortality rates, controlling for country. Full regression results are given in web Additional file 1: Table S1.