Heart disease remains top cause of death among Filipinos in first quarter of 2022, COVID-19 at sixth place

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 30) — Ischemic heart diseases ranked first anew among the top causes of death in the country in the first three months of 2022, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) figures released Thursday show.

These accounted for 18,601 fatalities from January to March, or 19.2% of the total 97,042 during the period. Heart diseases also ranked first among the causes by the end of last year.

Cerebrovascular diseases, which affect blood flow and blood vessels in the brain, placed second just like in end-2021. Some 10,044 deaths were attributed to this kind of disease, or a 10.4% share.

Cancer, referred to as neoplasms by the PSA, still ranked third at 8,926 or 9.2% of the total death toll for the three-month stretch.

Diabetes mellitus placed fourth, accounting for 6,151 deaths, while hypertensive diseases came next at 5,642 deaths.

Deaths due to COVID-19 virus identified, or those confirmed by a laboratory test, stood at sixth place at 5,031 fatalities. This ranking is lower than end-2021 where it rose to third place. 

Fatalities filed under COVID-19 virus not identified, which refer to suspect and probable cases and “clinically-epidemiologically diagnosed infections with incomplete or inconclusive testing,” ranked twelfth or four notches lower than its place by the end of last year - now accounting for 1,739 deaths.

Occupying the top seventh to eleventh causes of death were pneumonia (3,946), other heart diseases (3,042), chronic lower respiratory diseases (2,912), remainder of diseases of the genitourinary system (2,656), and respiratory tuberculosis (2,211).

The PSA also noted the National Capital Region as having posted the most COVID-19 deaths at 1,917, followed by Calabarzon at 1,138 and Central Luzon at 948.

In NCR, Quezon City recorded the most fatalities due to COVID-19 at 432. The cities of Manila and Caloocan came next at 321 and 174, respectively.

COVID-19 deaths reported by the PSA are based on death certificates, especially descriptions written on the medical certificate portion as reviewed by the concerned local health officer. This is in contrast to the Department of Health, which uses a surveillance system.

The report also covers Filipinos whose usual residence is overseas and foreign nationals who passed away while staying in the Philippines.