We’ve all heard of heart attacks before but do you know that heart attacks have been the leading cause of death in Malaysia for 14 years now?
According to the latest Statistics on Causes of Death in Malaysia released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), ischaemic heart diseases were the main causes of death in 2018 with a total of 18,267 deaths or 15.6% of total deaths from various causes.
Ischaemic heart diseases happen when the heart does not have enough blood flow and oxygen.
It is the main cause of death for men (12,510 deaths, 17.8%) while for women, the main cause of death was actually pneumonia (6,033 deaths, 12.8%), reported The Star.
The total number of deaths in Malaysia increased by 2.3% as well from 168,168 in 2017 to 172,031 in 2018.
Ischaemic heart diseases were most prevalent in urban areas where there were 12,101 cases, which is double the number for rural areas (6,166 cases). The highest percentage was recorded in Petaling, Selangor (16.3%).
The second main cause of death was pneumonia (11.8%), followed by cerebrovascular diseases (7.8%), transport accidents (3.7%) and chronic lower respiratory diseases (2.6%).
By age group, the principal cause of death of those aged 0-14 is pneumonia, 15-40 is transport accidents and 41 and above is ischaemic heart diseases. DOSM also said,
“On average, 50 persons in Malaysia die of ischaemic heart diseases every day.”
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the United States, the most common ischaemic heart disease is the coronary heart disease and it is caused by the buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. Over time, it hardens and narrows your arteries which will block blood flow to the heart completely or partially.
To avoid getting ischaemic heart diseases, it is best to eat a well-balanced diet and to always stay active. If you do smoke and drink, reducing them will be good too!
It’s important to try to be healthier in our lifestyle so that we can enjoy life a little longer! It’s never too late to try and turn things around!
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