While none of us likes to think of our own mortality or death, we all know that it’s inevitable. So do take care of your health! In case you didn’t know, these are the top five death causes in Malaysia in 2018 based on the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
1. 15.6% die from ischaemic heart diseases
The number one killer disease in Malaysia is ischaemic heart disease. In layman’s term, ischaemic heart disease occurs when the heart does not receive enough blood and oxygen. The most common ischaemic heart disease is coronary heart disease which can ultimately lead to heart attacks. Similar to cerebrovascular diseases, coronary heart disease happens due to the blockage of coronary arteries by various substances, usually cholesterol. Based on the statistics in 2018, a total of 18,267 people have died due to heart attacks, which means about 50 people die due to heart attacks every day.
Common signs of heart attack are angina, sudden dizziness, fatigue, cold sweat and breathing difficulty. Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as an unbalanced diet and lack of exercise are some of the main causes that lead to heart attacks. People with smoke, have diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity are more prone to heart attacks but this disease can strike anyone so we should always take care of our health.
2. 11.8% of Malaysians die due to pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammation or infection in the lungs. Gaseous exchange takes place in balloon-shaped air sacs called alveoli in the lungs. If a person suffers from pneumonia, the air spaces in the alveoli are filled with fluid commonly caused by a bacterial or viral infection. This fluid obstructs the bloodstreams to receive oxygen and can be fatal.
Nowadays, vaccination can prevent bacterial pneumonia infections. Although there are medicine and healthcare that are able to treat this disease effectively, negligence and lack of awareness about the causes of pneumonia has lead to become the second leading cause of death in Malaysia. Sometimes, people are not aware that they have pneumonia as the symptoms are similar to the common cold. For young children, other symptoms include laboured breathing, chest pain and in extreme cases, blueish/grey fingernails or lips.
3. Cerebrovascular diseases kill 7.8% of Malaysians
In general, cerebrovascular diseases are what happens when blood supply to the brain is affected due to defective blood vessels in or connected to the brain. One of the common occurrences of cerebrovascular disease in Malaysia is strokes. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, causing damage to part(s) of the brain. General signs of stroke are seizures, confusion, speech difficulty, paralysis and weakness on one side of the body.
Perform the F.A.S.T test in cases of suspected stroke. If the person shows signs of a stroke, go to the hospital immediately. Although hypertension is the most common risk factor related to cerebrovascular diseases, anyone at any age, even babies, can be inflicted with stroke. Reducing the consumption of alcohol, keeping a healthy weight, exercising regularly and eating healthily will help decrease the risk of suffering from cerebrovascular diseases.
4. Road accidents or dangerous driving causes 3.7% of deaths
It’s always important to be a careful and considerate motorist on the road as accidents can happen anytime. According to the Transport Statistics Malaysia in 2018 by the Ministry of Transport, the number of reported road accidents was 548,598 in 2018. In the same year, the number of deaths by road accidents is 6,284, which is an average of 17 deaths per day.
The main reasons for the fatalities were due to speeding and collisions. This usually happens when people drive irresponsibly and break traffic rules such as using mobile phones while driving, cutting queues recklessly and running red lights which cause accidents to happen.
5. 2.6% die due to Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
Also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), some examples of Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases (CLRD) are emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma. CLRD still remains the fifth leading cause of death in Malaysia are mainly due to lack of proper management and education on such diseases. People with a history of CLRD or smokers should be mindful of their own health conditions as they have a higher risk of contracting this illness.
There’s no definitive cure for CLRD as of now. Symptoms of CLRD include shortness of breath, chronic cough, an unusual amount of mucus production, wheezing, coughing up blood and chronic chest pain. However, treatments are able to treat the symptoms and prevent further damage to the lungs. With effective treatments, patients can have almost total control of the disease and the symptoms will almost never resurface.
Health is wealth, guys! Take care of your health before it’s too late!
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