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Philippines Cause of Death Data Jan to Aug 2019 to 2022; Comparison of 2022 with 2019 Data shows an Increase in Lifestyle Disease Deaths. Covid-19 Deaths Replaced Other Respiratory Illness Deaths.
Have the increasing lifestyle disease deaths been compounded by the population wide rollout? Ischemic Heart Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertensive Disease Deaths all increased from 2019 to 2022.
In order to evaluate the just released cause of death (COD) data, I went to the historical PSA cause of death data.
The vital statistics data released on 23rd January 2023 was for January to September 2022, as of October 2022. However, there were only 168 deaths registered in September, out of 418,027 deaths.
Thus, I ignored September and simply compared the available to date 2022 registered deaths with the January to August COD for 2021 (preliminary), 2020, and 2019.
August is still lower than earlier months and is likely incomplete, possibly by 10,000+ registrations (2-3% of the current totals). This will probably make the 2022 data currently look “better” than it actually will be in the final data sets.
Compiled table is presented below. I have highlighted the top 5 COD across all years in green. Ischaemic heart disease, Cerebrovascular Diseases, Neoplasms, and Diabetes Mellitus are always among the top 5 (except in 2021 when Covid-19 took No. 4); metabolic and lifestyle diseases causing the most deaths. These are also the conditions that predisposed for worse outcomes with Covid-19.
The table print is quite small. I will highlight some key observations for the period presented (Jan to August for each year). Bear in mind that both 2021 and 2022 data are still preliminary.
2019 deaths are higher than 2020 deaths, the first year of the pandemic. 2021 deaths are very high and rose by nearly 150,000 compared to the same period in both 2019 and 2020. 2022 deaths are very similar to 2019 deaths (only 2.3% difference).
Covid-19 attributed deaths appear to have replaced and been relabeled for a good portion of typical pneumonia and other respiratory deaths. 2019 had 40,255 registered pneumonia deaths. In 2020 pneumonia deaths dropped to 25,129, and they then dropped further in 2021 (24,287) and 2022 (19,206). It is curious that respiratory deaths dropped even further in 2022, when Covid-19 deaths were also apparently low, giving overall lower than historical respiratory deaths.
“Other causes of death” rose from 16,850 in 2019 to 17,524 in 2020, then 30,621 in 2021, and 24,733 in 2022. It would be good to know further information about this category. These must be deaths that didn’t fit into any of the usual categories / did not have an assigned clear cause.
There are some tragic deteriorations, likely due to pandemic measures. Intentional self-harm was higher in the pandemic years than the pre-pandemic years. Malnutrition related deaths also rose, with an increase of 29.3% from 2019 to 2022. Mental and behavioral disorder deaths due to drug use rose by 25% and the remainder of mental and behavioral disorders (non-psychoactive drug) rose by 88%.
The 2022 total numbers of registered deaths are nearly identical to those of 2019; 408,750 in 2019 vs. 418,027 in 2022, only a 2.3% difference. Thus, a comparison of 2019 and 2022 cause of death is relevant. 12 Top causes of death are set out below.
There is a 31.5% increase in deaths attributed to hypertensive diseases from 2019 to 2022. This is very relevant considering that increased blood pressure is a known consequence of the Covid-19 Vaccination.
There is an increase in Ischaemic heart disease of 20.5%.
There is an increase in Diabetes Mellitus of 17.7%.
The increases in deaths from these 3 leading causes of death do not bode well for the Philippines overall population health.
There is an apparent reduction in cancer deaths of -7.1%.
There are big drops in respiratory illness. Pneumonia by 52.3%, chronic lower respiratory disease by 22.8%, and respiratory tuberculosis of 22.3%.
Deaths attributed to Covid-19 identified were 9,749 and ranked 11th among the causes of death and contribution overall to 2.3% of deaths in 2022.
Covid-19 attributed deaths appear to have replaced other historical respiratory illness deaths.
Deaths reflect worsening poverty and reduce hope (malnutrition, self-harm, mental health deaths), likely arising from the pandemic measures.
The ischemic heart disease and hypertensive disease deaths have considerably increased their contribution from 2019 to 2022. These findings would imply worsening population health of Filipinos.
These increases should also be investigated as at least partially contributed to from the population-wide Covid-19 Vaccination Programs (cardiovascular and immunological impacts are already well described sequelae).
The Government would be well advised to consider that there is a critical health crisis in the Philippines related to the leading causes of deaths.
These are related to nutrition, related to lifestyle diseases. Maybe (very likely) exacerbated by the recent injectable interventions. This health crisis cannot be addressed though a syringe; instead, it will need to be addressed though public education, though ensuring access to quality (minimally processed) food, through facilitation of lifestyle approaches, through early detection and management of metabolic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
Poverty and poor metabolic health often go hand-in-hand. Addressing poverty and access to the necessities of a healthy life will also be essential.