Ischemic heart disease remains the leading cause of death among Malaysians, with the total number of deaths standing at 13,503 or 13.9 percent last year.
Chief Statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the report on the 2018 Statistics on the Causes of Death in Malaysia, showed that the number had increased by 0.7 percent compared to 2016.
“Ischemic heart disease is the main cause of death in 70 districts and the highest percentage has been recorded in Alor Gajah, Malacca, at 19.8 percent,” he said.
Mohd Uzir said pneumonia was identified as the second highest cause of death at 12.7 percent followed by cerebrovascular disease or stroke (7.1 percent), road accidents (4.6 percent) and malignant neoplasm (cancerous tumours) on the trachea, bronchus and lungs (2.2 percent).
“Pneumonia is the main cause of death in 64 districts, with the highest percentage recorded in Kota Setar, Kedah, at 21.9 percent,” he said.
Mohd Uzir said the main cause of death for men was heart disease, with 9,496 deaths or 16 percent, while for women it was pneumonia with 5,371 deaths (14.1 percent).
He said that the 2018 Vital Statistics Malaysia report showed that 508,685 live births were recorded in 2017 with 262,575 (51.6 percent) males and 246,110 (48.4 percent) being females. This was an increase of 0.1 percent compared to the previous year.
Mohd Uzir said the Kuala Terengganu district recorded the highest gross birth rate in 2017 at 26.4 for every 1,000 residents followed by Marang (26) and Julau in Sarawak (24.7).
He said the Kinabatangan district of Sabah had the lowest birth rate at 4.5 for every 1,000 residents followed by Putatan, Sabah (5.6) and Pakan, Sarawak (6.4).
Mohd Uzir said fertility rates in Malaysia remained at 1.9 children per woman aged 15-49 in 2017 compared to 2016.
Meanwhile,168,168 deaths were recorded in 2017 and of this figure, 96,522 (57.4 percent) were males and 71,646 (42.6 percent) were females, he said.
Mohd Uzir said for every 1,000 residents, mortality rates also rose from 5.1 in 2016 to 5.3 in 2017.
The Kanowit district in Sarawak recorded the highest mortality rate in 2017 which was 9.1 for every 1,000 residents followed by Sabak Bernam, Selangor (8.8) and Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan (8.7).