Top 10 Causes of Death in the Philippines in 2010
As of July 2010, the death rate in the country was estimated at 5.06 deaths per 1,000 population. The number placed the Philippines in the 184th spot among 226 countries listed in The World Factbook. Below are the top ten causes of death in the country for 2010. Included in the list are maternal deaths and deaths of infants and children under five years. The eradication of these two health concerns are both included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of the United Nations.
Heart disease is the general term used to refer to problems that affect one or more components of the human heart. The most common cause of heart disease is the narrowing or blockage of the heart’s arteries which leads to a heart attack. Filipino doctors found an increase in the number of heart attacks during the Christmas season. It is the time of the year where Filipinos over-indulge in eating salty, sweet, or fatty foods during parties. They have also noted a rise in the number of young people getting heart diseases. Doctors recommend people to go easy in eating and drinking, to quit smoking, and to start having healthier food choices, sufficient amount of rest, and a regular exercise.
Cerebrovascular disease or stroke occurs when blood is not supplied to some parts of the brain due to blockage (ischemic stroke) or bursting (hemorrhagic stroke) of a blood vessel in the body. Seventy percent of stroke cases in the Philippines are ischemic in nature. A stroke attack happens suddenly but it can be prevented by early diagnosis and treatment of hypertension or high levels of cholesterol. While stroke commonly happens to the elderly, congenital defects can also cause it to occur in younger persons such as the case of Kim Atienza.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 12 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year. If no urgent action is taken, the number of cancer deaths may reach 17 million by the year 2030. Fifty thousand cancer cases have been recorded in the Philippines and the number is estimated to increase by 5% every year. Meanwhile, 16% of these recorded deaths are due to breast cancer.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) include chronic bronchitis, chronic asthma, and emphysema. These diseases prevent air to freely flow to and from the lungs. It is estimated that 7% of all deaths worldwide are caused by chronic respiratory diseases. Meanwhile, 15% of cigarette smokers develop COPD. Second-hand smoke and pollution aggravates the problem.
According to the World Health Organization, 1.2 million people worldwide die from road accidents. Furthermore, the organization predicts that road accident deaths would beat the death counts of HIV/AIDS deaths by 2030. In 2010, major bus crashes happened in Benguet and Cebu which took the lives of at least 62 Filipinos and Iranians. Meanwhile, Binibining Pilipinas titlist Melody Gersbach died in a car crash in Bula, Camarines Sur together with two others.
An estimated four million Filipinos suffer from diabetes . Experts predict the number to increase to 380 million by 2025. With diabetes comes a number of life-threatening health complications such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. Doctors recommend early diagnosis to be able to begin proper management of the condition and prevent complications.
From January to August 2010, 62,503 dengue fever cases have been recorded by the Department of Health. The number is said to be the highest ever recorded in the history of the country. Of this number, 465 deaths have been identified. This is almost as large as the number of dengue fever deaths in 2009. By the end of 2010, the DOH estimates the record to be as high as 800 deaths.
The Philippines, along with 55 other countries, contributes to 94% of all maternal deaths recorded worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. An estimated 162 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births have been identified. Common causes of maternal deaths include hemorrhage, hypertension, sepsis, labor and delivery problems, and complications related to abortion.
Kidney failure happens when the kidneys cannot function properly. One of the major functions of the kidneys is to clean waste material from the blood. Stage 5 kidney failure patients require renal replacement therapy or dialysis. Of the patients who undergo dialysis, only 50% may be healthy enough to undergo kidney transplant and of this number, only 20% can afford the costly life-saving operation.
Together with 42 other countries, the Philippines contribute to 90% of global under-five deaths at a ratio of 34 per 1,000 live births. Of this number, 47% is identified as deaths of infants less than 28 days old. Leading causes of perinatal deaths include diarrhea, pneumonia, sepsis, pneumonia, and asphyxia.
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