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Project Death Count

OVER 75 per cent of the 95 lakh annual deaths in India occur at home, and a majority of these do not have a certified cause. Recognising the need for better data, the government has undertaken the world's largest study to track the causes of death in the country.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2006 01:20 IST
Hindustantimes

Start of a 16-year survey of what’s ailing and killing Indians

OVER 75 per cent of the 95 lakh annual deaths in India occur at home, and a majority of these do not have a certified cause. Recognising the need for better data, the government has undertaken the world's largest study to track the causes of death in the country.

Called the 'Prospective Study of One Million Deaths in India', the study will span 16 years. For the research, the Registrar General of India's Sample Registration System data will be analysed from 1998 to 2014.

Nearly 1.4 crore people in 24 lakh representative Indian households will be monitored in two sample frames -- 1998-2003 and 2004-14 -- for vital status and, if dead, for the cause of death, through verbal autopsy. About 10 lakh deaths are expected to occur among these people during the study period.

The study is being done in partnership with, among others, the Centre for Global Health Research at the University of Toronto and the Indian Council of Medical Research. Among registered deaths in India, cause-of-death data are available for about one in three deaths, but this often merely subdivides deaths into as being due to accident, violence or disease -- without listing any detail. This study will consider the relevance of different measurements -- physical (blood pressure, obesity, etc), behavioural (smoking, alcohol, HIV risk behaviour, immunisation history) and biological (blood lipids, gene polymorphisms) -- to disease in individuals or disease rates in populations.

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