There is evidence that the Western type of diet has adverse effects, and prudent dietary patterns
may have beneficial effects against deaths from cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. In the present study, we
examine the association of dietary patterns with causes of deaths among urban decedents in north India.
Subjects and Methods: Randomly selected records of death of 2222 (1385 men and 837 women) decedents, aged 25-64
years, were examined. Clinical data and causes of death were assessed by a questionnaire based on available hospital
records and a modified WHO verbal autopsy questionnaire. Dietary intakes of the dead individuals were estimated by
finding out the food intake of the spouse from 3-day dietary diaries and by asking probing questions about differences in
food intake by the decedents.
The score for intake of prudent foods was significantly greater and the ratio of w-6/w-3 fatty acids of the
diet significantly lower for deaths due to ‘injury’ and accidental causes compared to deaths due to non-communicable
diseases (NCD). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that after adjustment for age, total prudent foods
(OR,CI: 1.11;1.06-1.18 men; 109;1.04-1.16 women) as well as fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts (1.07; 1.02-1.12
men; 1.05; 1.99-1.11 women) were independently, inversely associated whereas Western type foods (1.02; 0.95-1.09
men; 1.00; 0.94-1.06 women); meat and eggs(1.00-0.94-1.06 men; 0.98; 0.93-1.04 women) and refined carbohydrates
(0.98; 0.91-1.05 men, 0.95; 0.89-1.02 women) and high w-6/w-3 ratio of fatty acids were positively associated with deaths
due to NCDs.
Increased intake of high w-6/w-3 ratio Western type foods and decline in prudent foods intake may be a risk
factor for deaths due to NCDs.