DoSM: 65.6% medical deaths, 34.3% non-medical in 2020

by AZALEA AZUAR / pic by AFP

THE Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) yesterday revealed that 166,507 deaths (65.6%) last year were medically certified while 57,352 (34.3%) were non-medical.

This was reported in DoSM’s latest Statistics on Causes of Death, Malaysia, 2021 which reveals the statistics of death in the country in 2020.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said ischaemic heart diseases continue to be the main factor of death in Malaysia with 18,515 deaths or 17% of total medically certified deaths.

“There were 12,707 (68.6%) deaths caused by ischaemic heart diseases for males, while females were 5,808 (31.4%).

“Ischaemic heart disease was the principal cause of death for all major ethnic groups in Malaysia with Bumiputera recording 16.6%, Chinese (16%) and Indians (22.8%),” he said in a statement yesterday.

This disease is also the principal cause of death in Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. Mohd Uzir also noticed a similar trend in developed countries such as the US, Japan, UK and Australia. The main contributors to ischemic hearts disease are unhealthy lifestyle practices and diet.

In a separate statement, the Health Ministry said Malaysia is deemed an unhealthy country based on the low awareness on health among the people, where the rate of heart disease and obesity is relatively high.

The National Health and Mobility Survey report, 2019 also revealed that the major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart diseases are high blood sugar, blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Apart from Ischaemic heart disease, pneumonia ranked second place (11.4%) followed by cerebrovascular diseases (8.3%), transport accidents (3.8%) and malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung (2.9%).

The report also revealed that deaths caused by cancer have increased from 11.6% in 2000 to 15.5% in 2020.

Ischaemic heart disease mainly affects those who are between 41 to 59 years (20%) and 60 years and over (18%) while deaths caused by transport accidents involve mainly victims between the ages of zero to 14 years (3%) and 15 to 40 years (16.8%).

Meanwhile, Covid-19 was listed as a new cause of death last year which accounted for 471 deaths or 0.3% from 166,507 deaths.

With 265 deaths, Sabah has the highest Covid-19 deaths while Terengganu recorded the lowest with only one death.

In the Asean region as of Oct 31, this year, Indonesia tops in terms of Covid-19 deaths (22,138), followed by the Philippines (9,244) and Myanmar (2,682).

Three developed countries that recorded the highest deaths due to Covid-19 were the US (351,754) followed by the UK (73,622) and Canada (15,762).