Heart diseases still leading cause of death among Filipinos, says PSA


Posted at Mar 17 2021 01:25 PM

Heart diseases still leading cause of death among Filipinos, says PSA 1
Residents follow triage procedures at the barangay health center as they process their ‘ return to work forms’ at Barangay Pio Del Pilar in Makati City on March 15, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Heart diseases remained the top cause of death among Filipinos in 2020, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Office (PSA) released on Tuesday. 

The number of people who died due to ischemic heart diseases rose to 99,700 cases (17.3 percent) compared to 97,500 cases (15.7 percent) in 2019, PSA added. 

Cancer was the second leading cause of death, with 62,300 (10.8 percent) cases recorded. Cerebrovascular diseases claimed 59,700 (10.4 percent) lives in 2020, while diabetes mellitus ranked fourth with 37,300 cases (6.5 percent). 

The top 3 causes of death in the Philippines remained the same in the last 5 years, PSA added. 

Heart diseases still leading cause of death among Filipinos, says PSA 2
Top causes of death in the Philippines last 2019 and 2020. Photo from Philippine Statistics Office

But the number of registered deaths due to ischemic heart diseases and diabetes mellitus exceeded their averages in the last five years of 82, 527 and 32,991, respectively deaths caused by pneumonia had the biggest decline, with 24,300 thousand less deaths in 2020 than its average in the past five years.

Deaths due to pneumonia, which recorded 32,600 cases (5.7 percent) posted a 48.1 percent decrease from 62.7 thousand (10.1 percent) in 2019. It was still however the fifth leading cause of death for the year, it said.

Heart diseases still leading cause of death among Filipinos, says PSA 3
Average number and rank of registered deaths from 2015-2019 compared to same figures in 2020. Photo from Philippine Statistics Office


In its manual "Dietary Guidelines for the Prevention of Heart Disease and Diabetes," the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI-DOST) recommended the following:

- Prepare and eat foods that are low in fat and cholesterol. Fat should contribute about 20-25% of the total calories we eat. Fat from plant sources like peanuts, soybeans, cottonseed, corn, safflower, and from fish oil are better than animal fat.
- Eat foods that are high in fiber. Fibers especially the soluble ones have cholesterol-lowering properties and are found in most fruits, vegetables, beans and grains.
- Limit intake of salty foods. Sodium in salt causes hypertension when taken in excess. Convenience foods like tocino, longanisa, sausage, hotdog, ham, bacon and the like are rich in salt.
- Always maintain an ideal weight. Overweight or obese persons are more prone to heart disease.
- Exercise regularly. At least 15-30 minutes of physical exercise, 3-4 times weekly, can help reduce your risks for heart disease. It also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Stop smoking. Cigarette smoking is the most important preventable cause of coronary heart disease that often leads to heart attack.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. Drinking a lot will most likely develop high blood pressure and eventually heart disease.
- Visit your doctor regularly. If you have one or two of the risks of developing heart disease, have regular check-up of your blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar so that early treatment can be done.

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- With reports from Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News