Top 10 Leading Causes of Death in the Philippines

Leading Causes of Death in the Philippines

Preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority has revealed that COVID-19 did not make it to the top 10 leading causes of death in the country during the first nine months of 2022. Instead, ischemic heart diseases, which involve a reduced blood supply to the heart, remained the primary cause of mortality among Filipinos, with 77,173 recorded deaths from January to September 2022. This accounted for 18.5% of all registered deaths. Cerebrovascular diseases, which include stroke, were the second leading cause of death with 42,890 recorded cases. Neoplasms, or cancer, came in third place with 42,497 registered cases. It is worth noting that these numbers are preliminary and may change as more data becomes available. Nonetheless, the data highlights the ongoing impact of non-communicable diseases on the Philippine population, which underscores the need for continued efforts to promote healthy lifestyles and improve access to quality healthcare services.

Top 10 Leading Causes of Death in the Philippines

Here are the top 10 leading causes of death in the Philippines:

S.No.

Causes of Death

1

Ischemic heart diseases

2

Cerebrovascular diseases

3

Neoplasms

4

Diabetes mellitus

5

Hypertensive diseases

6

Pneumonia

7

Other heart diseases

8

Chronic lower respiratory diseases

9

Remainder of diseases of the genitourinary system

10

Respiratory tuberculosis

TRENDING

1. Ischemic Heart Diseases

Ischemic heart diseases, also known as coronary artery diseases, are a group of conditions that occur when there is a reduced blood supply to the heart due to a blockage or narrowing of the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries are the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle. Ischemic heart diseases can lead to chest pain, heart attacks, and other complications that can be life-threatening. Risk factors for developing ischemic heart diseases include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity, and a family history of heart disease. Preventive measures for ischemic heart diseases include lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption. Treatment options include medication, procedures to open blocked arteries, and surgery in severe cases.

2. Cerebrovascular Diseases

Cerebrovascular diseases are conditions that affect the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. These diseases can cause a disruption in blood flow to the brain, leading to a range of symptoms and potential complications. The most common type of cerebrovascular disease is a stroke, which occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked or reduced, leading to brain cell damage or death. Other types of cerebrovascular diseases include transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), which are brief episodes of reduced blood flow to the brain that can cause stroke-like symptoms, and subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is bleeding in the space between the brain and the thin tissues that cover it. Risk factors for cerebrovascular diseases include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity, and a family history of stroke or heart disease. Treatment for cerebrovascular diseases depends on the specific condition and may include medication, lifestyle changes, and surgery in some cases. Preventive measures for cerebrovascular diseases include managing risk factors through lifestyle changes and medication, such as controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular exercise.

3. Neoplasms

Neoplasms, commonly known as tumors or cancer, are abnormal growths of cells that can occur in any part of the body. There are many different types of neoplasms, and they can be either benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Malignant neoplasms can invade nearby tissues and organs and spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. This process is known as metastasis and can lead to serious complications and potential fatalities. Risk factors for neoplasms include genetic factors, exposure to certain chemicals and substances, unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and exposure to radiation. Symptoms of neoplasms can vary depending on the type and location of the tumor and may include pain, fatigue, weight loss, and changes in bodily functions.

Treatment options for neoplasms depend on the type, location, and stage of the tumor and may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. In some cases, a combination of these treatments may be used. Preventive measures for neoplasms include adopting a healthy lifestyle, such as quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and getting regular exercise. Early detection through screening tests can also improve the chances of successful treatment and recovery.

4. Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus, often referred to simply as diabetes, is a chronic metabolic disorder that affects how the body processes blood sugar (glucose). There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. This type of diabetes is typically diagnosed in childhood or adolescence and requires lifelong insulin therapy. Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for the majority of diabetes cases worldwide, occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or does not produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. This type of diabetes is often associated with lifestyle factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, and poor diet.

Symptoms of diabetes can include increased thirst and urination, fatigue, blurred vision, slow healing of wounds, and frequent infections. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, nerve damage, and blindness. Treatment for diabetes typically involves a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, and monitoring of blood sugar levels. Medications for diabetes include insulin therapy, oral medications that help the body use insulin more effectively, and other medications that help regulate blood sugar levels. Lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking can also help manage diabetes and prevent complications. Preventive measures for diabetes include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding smoking. Regular screening for diabetes can also help detect the condition early and prevent complications.

5. Hypertensive Diseases

Hypertensive diseases, also known as high blood pressure, refer to a group of conditions in which the force of blood against the walls of the arteries is consistently too high. Hypertension can lead to damage to the blood vessels and organs over time, increasing the risk of serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. There are two types of hypertension: primary hypertension, which has no identifiable cause and develops gradually over time, and secondary hypertension, which is caused by an underlying medical condition or medication. Risk factors for hypertension include age, family history, obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, stress, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease. Symptoms of hypertension may not be noticeable, but can include headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, and nosebleeds in severe cases.

Treatment for hypertension typically involves lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, limiting salt intake, getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking. Medications such as diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers may also be prescribed to help lower blood pressure. Preventive measures for hypertension include adopting a healthy lifestyle, getting regular blood pressure screenings, managing stress, and following medical advice for underlying conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease. Early detection and management of hypertension can help reduce the risk of serious health problems and improve overall health outcomes.

6. Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a lung infection that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or other microorganisms. The condition can range from mild to severe and can affect people of all ages, but is particularly dangerous in infants, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of pneumonia can include cough, fever, shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, and confusion in older adults. Treatment for pneumonia typically involves antibiotics for bacterial infections or antiviral medication for viral infections, as well as supportive care to manage symptoms such as fever and cough. Preventive measures for pneumonia include getting vaccinated against bacterial and viral infections that can cause pneumonia, such as pneumococcal and influenza vaccines. Other preventive measures include practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands regularly and avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and avoiding smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. 

Complications of pneumonia can include pleural effusion, a buildup of fluid in the space between the lungs and chest wall, and sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition in which the body’s immune system overreacts to an infection. People who experience severe symptoms or complications from pneumonia may require hospitalization for treatment and monitoring.

7. Other Heart Diseases

There are many other heart diseases that can affect the heart and blood vessels. Some examples include:

Arrhythmias: Abnormal heart rhythms can cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly. This can lead to symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, and fainting.

Valvular heart disease: This refers to conditions in which the heart valves do not work properly, such as when they do not open or close properly. This can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain.

Congenital heart disease: This is a group of conditions in which the heart does not form properly before birth. These conditions can range from mild to severe and may require medical treatment or surgery.

Cardiomyopathy: This is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened or enlarged, affecting the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling in the legs and ankles.

Aortic aneurysm: This is a bulging or weakening of the aorta, the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. If the aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening.

Pericardial disease: This refers to conditions that affect the pericardium, the sac that surrounds the heart. Pericardial disease can cause symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and palpitations.

Treatment for these conditions depends on the specific diagnosis and can range from medication to surgery. Preventive measures for heart disease include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking, and managing underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

8. Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases

Chronic lower respiratory diseases (CLRD) refer to a group of chronic conditions that affect the lungs and airways, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. These conditions can cause difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing, and other respiratory symptoms. COPD is a progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe, and it is often caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, such as cigarette smoke. Asthma is a chronic condition in which the airways become inflamed and narrowed, causing difficulty breathing. Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, while emphysema is a condition in which the air sacs in the lungs become damaged, leading to shortness of breath.

Risk factors for CLRD include smoking, exposure to air pollution or occupational dust and chemicals, and a history of respiratory infections. Symptoms of CLRD can include shortness of breath, chronic cough, chest tightness, and wheezing. Treatment for CLRD typically involves medications to manage symptoms, such as bronchodilators and corticosteroids, as well as lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and avoiding environmental triggers. In severe cases, oxygen therapy or surgery may be necessary. Preventive measures for CLRD include avoiding smoking and secondhand smoke, reducing exposure to air pollution and occupational hazards, and getting regular exercise to maintain lung health. Early detection and management of CLRD can help slow the progression of the disease and improve quality of life for those affected.

9. Remainder of Diseases of the Genitourinary System

In addition to the diseases mentioned earlier, there are other conditions that can affect the genitourinary system. These include kidney stones, which are hard deposits that form in the kidneys and can cause severe pain and difficulty passing urine. Another condition is interstitial cystitis, a chronic bladder condition that can cause bladder pain, urinary urgency, and frequent urination. Additionally, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis can affect the genitourinary system. These infections can cause a variety of symptoms, such as painful urination, abnormal vaginal discharge, and pelvic pain. If left untreated, STIs can lead to serious complications such as infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and even death. Urinary retention is another condition that can affect the genitourinary system. This occurs when the bladder is unable to empty completely, leading to a buildup of urine in the bladder. This can cause discomfort, pain, and an increased risk of urinary tract infections.

Lastly, bladder cancer is a type of cancer that affects the bladder, and is often characterized by symptoms such as blood in the urine, pain during urination, and frequent urination. Treatment for bladder cancer typically involves surgery to remove the tumor, along with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Overall, diseases of the genitourinary system can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, and it’s important to seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms or concerns related to these conditions. Preventive measures such as practicing safe sex, maintaining good hygiene, and getting regular check-ups with a healthcare provider can also help prevent these conditions from occurring or progressing.

10. Respiratory tuberculosis

Respiratory tuberculosis is a contagious bacterial infection that primarily affects the lungs. It is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacterium that can spread from person to person through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Symptoms of respiratory tuberculosis can include coughing that lasts for three weeks or longer, chest pain, coughing up blood, fatigue, fever, and night sweats. Tuberculosis can also affect other parts of the body, such as the kidneys, spine, and brain. Diagnosis of respiratory tuberculosis typically involves a physical exam, a chest x-ray, and a tuberculin skin test or blood test. Treatment for tuberculosis usually involves a combination of antibiotics taken over several months to kill the bacteria and prevent the development of antibiotic-resistant strains.

Preventive measures for tuberculosis include getting vaccinated with the bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, avoiding close contact with people who have active tuberculosis, and maintaining good respiratory hygiene, such as covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Treatment for tuberculosis is important not only to prevent the spread of the disease, but also to prevent complications such as organ damage and death. With appropriate treatment, most people with tuberculosis can recover fully and resume their normal activities.

Main Cause of Death in the Philippines

According to preliminary data covering the period from January to September 2022, ischaemic heart disease emerged as the primary cause of mortality in the Philippines. The figures indicate that 77,173 deaths were attributed to this condition during the period, accounting for 18.5% of all registered deaths. Other leading causes of mortality during this period included cerebrovascular diseases, which resulted in 42,890 deaths, and neoplasms or cancer, which accounted for 42,497 deaths. Other significant causes of death during the period included diabetes mellitus, hypertensive diseases, and pneumonia. While these figures are still subject to revision and further analysis, they provide insights into the current state of public health in the country and underscore the importance of addressing the leading causes of mortality through preventative measures, early detection, and timely treatment.

Leading Causes of Mortality in the Philippines

The leading causes of mortality in the Philippines refer to the primary health conditions or diseases that result in the highest number of deaths among the population. These causes of mortality can vary over time and can be influenced by a range of factors, including lifestyle choices, genetics, and access to healthcare services. Some of the common leading causes of mortality in the Philippines include cardiovascular diseases such as ischaemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease, as well as cancer, diabetes mellitus, pneumonia, and hypertensive diseases. Understanding the leading causes of mortality in the Philippines is critical for healthcare providers, policymakers, and individuals to develop effective strategies and interventions to prevent or manage these conditions and improve overall public health outcomes.

Other significant causes of mortality in the Philippines include diabetes mellitus, which is characterized by high blood sugar levels and can lead to a range of complications such as cardiovascular disease and kidney failure. Hypertensive diseases, or high blood pressure, are also prevalent in the population and can lead to a range of health issues such as stroke and heart disease. Pneumonia, a type of respiratory infection, is another common cause of mortality in the Philippines, particularly among children and the elderly. Effective prevention and treatment strategies for pneumonia typically involve vaccination, good hygiene practices, and timely medical intervention. Overall, addressing the leading causes of mortality in the Philippines requires a multifaceted approach that involves public education, preventative measures, early detection, and timely treatment. Healthcare providers, policymakers, and individuals all have a role to play in promoting healthy lifestyles, improving access to healthcare services, and reducing the burden of disease in the population.

Top 10 Leading Causes of Morbidity in the Philippines

Listed below are the leading causes of morbidity in the Philippines:

S.No.

Causes of morbidity

1

Acute respiratory tract infection

2

Hypertension

3

Urinary tract infection

4

Animal bites

5

Skin diseases

6

Acute lower respiratory infection

7

Pneumonia

8

Acute watery diarrhea

9

Bronchitis

10

TB all forms

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