[WWW - 2023.07.31]
Identifying and Definitional Attributes
QH 040000 v2
Data Element
Data Element
Sex is the biological distinction between male and female. Where there is an inconsistency between anatomical and chromosomal characteristics, sex is based on anatomical characteristics.
Sex is a core data element in a wide range of social, labour and demographic statistics.
Representational Attributes
Permissible Values


3Intersex or indeterminate
9Not stated/inadequately described
Supplementary Values


Collection and Usage Attributes
Code 3 Intersex or indeterminate, refers to a person, who because of a genetic condition, was born with reproductive organs or sex chromosomes that are not exclusively male or female or whose sex has not yet been determined for whatever reason.
Code 3 Intersex or indeterminate, should be confirmed if reported for people aged 90 days or greater.
Diagnosis and procedure codes should be checked against the national ICD-10-AM sex edits, unless the person is undergoing, or has undergone a sex change as detailed in Collection methods or has a genetic condition resulting in a conflict between sex and ICD-10-AM code.
Operationally, sex is the distinction between male and female, as reported by a person or as determined by an interviewer.

When collecting data on sex by personal interview, asking the sex of the respondent is usually unnecessary and may be inappropriate, or even offensive. It is usually a simple matter to infer the sex of the respondent through observation, or from other cues such as the relationship of the person(s) accompanying the respondent, or first name. The interviewer may ask whether persons not present at the interview are male or female.

A person's sex may change during their lifetime as a result of procedures known alternatively as Sex change, Gender reassignment, Transsexual surgery, Transgender reassignment or Sexual reassignment. Throughout this process, which may be over a considerable period of time, Sex could be recorded as either Male or Female.

In data collections that use the ICD-10-AM classification, where sex change is the reason for admission, diagnoses should include the appropriate ICD-10-AM code(s) that clearly identify that the person is undergoing such a process. This code(s) would also be applicable after the person has completed such a process, if they have a procedure involving an organ(s) specific to their previous sex (e.g. where the patient has prostate or ovarian cancer).

Code 3 Intersex or indeterminate,
- is normally used for babies for whom sex has not been determined for whatever reason;
- should not generally be used on data collection forms completed by the respondent; and
- should only be used if the person or respondent volunteers that the person is intersex or where it otherwise becomes clear during the collection process that the individual is neither male nor female.

Code 9 Not stated/inadequately described, is not to be used on primary collection forms. It is primarily for use in administrative collections when transferring data from data sets where the item has not been collected.
This metadata item is common to both the National Community Services Data Dictionary and the National Health Data Dictionary. The definition for Intersex in Guide for use is sourced from the ACT Legislation (Gay, Lesbian and Transgender) Amendment Act 2003. NHDD specific: DSS - Diabetes (clinical): Referring to the National Diabetes Register Statistical profile (December 2000), the sex ratio varied with age. For ages less than 25 years, numbers of males and females were similar. At ages 25-44 years, females strongly outnumbered males, reflecting the effect of gestational diabetes in women from this group. For older age groups (45-74 years), males strongly outnumber females and in the group of 75 and over, the ratio of males to females was reversed, with a substantially lower proportion of males in the population in this age group due to the higher female life expectancy. (AIHW National Mortality Database 1997/98; National Diabetes Register; Statistical Profile, December 2000). Other References: AS4846 Health Care Provider Identification, 2004, Sydney: Standards Australia AS5017 Health Care Client Identification, 2002, Sydney: Standards Australia In AS4846 and AS5017 alternative codes are presented. Refer to the current standard for more details.
Relational Attributes
Related Metadata References

Related Metadata References_IR

  • 1 - 7
ViewRelationshipMetadata Item TypeMetadata Item SubtypeNameIdentifier & VersionApproval Status
SupersedesData ElementData ElementSex of clientQH 040000 Version 1Superseded
Has been superseded byData ElementData ElementPerson-sexQH 040000 Version 3Superseded
Is used in the calculation ofData ElementData ElementEpisode of admitted patient care-diagnosis related group (AR-DRG v6.0)QH 041587 Version 5Superseded
Is used in the derivation ofData ElementData ElementEpisode of admitted patient care-diagnosis related group (AR-DRG v5.1)QH 041587 Version 3Superseded
Is used in the derivation ofData ElementData ElementEpisode of admitted patient care-diagnosis related group (AR-DRG v5.2)QH 041587 Version 4Superseded
Is used in the derivation ofData ElementData ElementEpisode of admitted patient care-major diagnostic category (AR-DRG v5.1)QH 041588 Version 3Superseded
Is used in the derivation ofData ElementData ElementEpisode of admitted patient care-major diagnostic category (AR-DRG v5.2)QH 041588 Version 4Superseded
Implementation in Metadata Sets


  • 1 - 5
ViewMetadata Item TypeMetadata Item SubtypeNameIdentifer & VersionObligationApproval StatusEffective FromEffective To
Information AssetData RepositoryDeath RegistrationsQH 020227 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-200430-Jun-2009
Information AssetData CollectionElective Surgery Data Collection (ESDC)QH 020110 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-200419-Oct-2008
Information AssetData CollectionEmergency Data Collection (EDC)QH 020159 Version 1MandatorySuperseded23-Oct-200630-Jun-2009
Information AssetData CollectionQueensland Cancer Registry (QCR) Data CollectionQH 020002 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-200430-Jun-2009
Information AssetData CollectionQueensland Perinatal Data Collection (QPDC)QH 020003 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-200430-Jun-2009
Source and Reference Attributes
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
National Health Data Dictionary