Dept. of Health Research Govt. of India
World Health Organization
Reliable information on the pattern of deaths by causes in the country due to some major diseases is essential for proper health planning. Many causes of death are largely or wholly confined to a particular age, age – sex group, region and socio –economic profile of the households. Information on the pattern of causes of death reflects the health status and in turn is vital for socio – economic planning of the communities. This will also help us in defining the population at risk from a given cause of deathas a national priority for medical research. A reliable assessment of disease –specific mortalityrates is not yet possible in many parts of India, either because the underlying cause of terminal illness was never known or relevant information not recorded. Verbal autopsy is a systematic retrospective inquiry of family members about the signs and symptoms of illness prior to death has been used to help determine the underlying medical cause of death. Verbal autopsies have been used to assess the medical causes of maternal and childhood deaths in many studies conducted in India and other developing countries. But there is less experience with verbal autopsies of adult deaths. A special study to estimate the cause specific mortality in all the age groups by verbal autopsy was conducted by National Institute Of Epidemiology. It was one of the largest studies conducted in Tamilnadu.