, Volume 15, Issue 10, pp 815-821
Date: 13 May 2011

A simple food quality index predicts mortality in Elderly Taiwanese

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To assess the relative predictive ability for mortality of the Overall Dietary Index-Revised (ODI-R) and the Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) among representative Taiwanese aged 65 and older.


Prospective cohort.


The Elderly Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan during 1999–2000.


One thousand seven hundred forty three (860 men and 883 women).


Dietary quality measures, the ODI-R (0–100) and DDS (0–6) were based on 24-hour dietary recall and a food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Death by National Death Registry up to 2008 was the outcome measure.


During follow-up, 624 subjects died. The survivors had both significantly higher (P <0.001) ODI-R (66.9 vs. 63.6) and DDS (4.69 vs. 4.30) than the deceased. The two indices were correlated (r=0.46). After adjustment for potential covariates, the hazard ratios (HR) (95% CI) were 0.63 (0.42–0.97), 0.71 (0.49–1.04) and 0.53 (0.37–0.76) for those whose ODI-R scores were 60–65, 65–70, >70, respectively, compared to those whose ODI-R scores were £ 50 (P for trend <0.001). For DDS, the multi-variable HRs (95% CI) were 0.74 (0.55–1.00), 0.52 (0.38–0.72) and 0.50 (0.31–0.81) for those whose DDS were 4, 5, 6, respectively, compared to those whose DDS were <3 (P for trend<0.001). Total cancer, diabetes mortalities and pneumonia were similarly benefited according to trends.


ODIR ≥ 60, and DDS ≥ 4 are predictors of all-cause and cause-specific mortalities. Of the two, DDS is the more predictive. Nutrition policy could be informed and clinical practice enhanced by these population relevant foodhealth relationships.