Prevent early death with healthy living, dropping vices - expert


Posted at Sep 23 2022 04:01 PM

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MANILA — Non-communicable diseases that are responsible for 70 percent of deaths in the Philippines are preventable, a health expert said Friday.

According to Dr. Maricar Limpin, immediate past president of Philippine College of Physicians, the so-called NCDs are caused by unhealthy lifestyle or living conditions.

"'Yun ang maganda. These are preventable. Kasi kadalasan dito sa non-communicable diseases, related sa lifestyle natin," she told TeleRadyo.

"'Yung paninigarilyo, pag-inom ng alak, pagkain ng mga sobra-sobra, pati 'yung quality ng pagkain, pati na rin 'yung lack of exercise," she added.

Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and respiratory disease now outnumber infectious diseases as the top killers globally, said the World Health Organization in a new report titled "Invisible Numbers".

According to the UN health agency, some 511,748 Filipinos succumbed to NCDs in 2019. 

Meanwhile, 72 percent of deaths among women were because of NCDs; among men, that number was at 68 percent.

Fifty-two percent of those who died due to NCDs were under 70 years old, the WHO noted.

The probability of premature mortality or dying between ages 30 and 70 from NCDs in the Philippines was at 25 percent, the agency added.

It further reported that 34 percent of the total fatalities recorded in 2019 were related to cardiovascular diseases; 24 percent were communicable, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional conditions; 13 percent were caused by other NCDs; 9 percent were cancer-induced, and the remaining percentages were derived from chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and injuries.


Tobacco use, unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity and air pollution are seen as the main causes driving the soaring NCD numbers globally.

Tobacco use alone is responsible for more than 8 million deaths each year, the WHO said.

Another 8 million deaths are attributable to unhealthy diets, meaning either too little, too much or too poor quality food, the report said.

Harmful alcohol use, which among other things causes liver cirrhosis and cancers, kills around 1.7 million people annually, while physical inactivity is responsible for an estimated 830,000 deaths.

Limpin urged Filipinos to have regular checkups for early detection and diagnosis of NCDs.

— With a report from Agence France-Presse