Manila: Heart-related issues have claimed the most lives, topping the causes of death in the Philippines, according to latest government data.
Ischaemic heart diseases, a category of heart diseases that includes conditions like heart attacks, have consistently ranked among the leading causes of death in the Philippines.
Latest health data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) shows that ischaemic heart diseases was followed by neoplasms at No. 2, and cerebrovascular diseases t No. 3.
Top 3 causes
In their report spanning January to December 2022, ischaemic heart diseases ranked first, accounting for 121,558 cases or 18.3 percent of total deaths.
Neoplasms — which refers to abnormal growth of cells (also known as a tumours) — followed closely in second place, with 67,669 deaths, making up about 10.2 percent of the total.
Cerebrovascular diseases (conditions that affect blood flow and the blood vessels in the brain) claimed the third spot, with 67,475 recorded cases, equivalent to a 10.2 percent share.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD)
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) – diseases of the heart and blood vessels – are responsible for a third of deaths in the Philippines.
CVDs are part of the larger group of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which account for 72 per cent of deaths in the country in 2021.
A study published by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), shows that coronary heart disease accounts for about 32 per cent of all deaths in the Philippines.
In terms of age group, four out of five people who die of coronary heart disease in the Philippines are over the age of 65, according to a Stanford Medicine study.
In 2021, approximately 5 per cent of the total population in the Philippines were individuals 65 and over.
More men than women to develop coronary heart disease, which tend to occur in women a decade later than in men.
COVID-19 deaths down
The PSA data also noted a significant year-on-year decline in registered deaths due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In the same timeframe, COVID-19 deaths reached 17,662, marking an 84.3 per cent drop from the 112,772 registered in the corresponding period in 2021.
Breaking down the COVID-19 data, cases where the type of virus was identified placed COVID-19 as the 11th leading cause of death — with 12,610 cases representing 1.9 per cent of total deaths.
Meanwhile, deaths due to COVID-19 with an unidentified virus accounted for 5,052 cases, equivalent to 0.8 per cent of total deaths.
Among the 17 regions in the Philippines, the National Capital Region (NCR) reported the highest number of COVID-19 deaths, totaling 4,357.
NCR was followed closely were Calabarzon with 2,857 deaths, Central Luzon with 2,361, and Western Visayas with 1,250. In contrast, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) recorded the fewest registered COVID-19 deaths, with only 68 cases in 2022.
Government data and health statistics show that ischaemic heart diseases have often been one of the top causes of death in the country.
These diseases are responsible for a significant number of deaths and contribute to the overall burden of cardiovascular diseases in the Philippines, making heart disease a major public health concern in the country.