Dr. Edgardo Sandig, South Cotabato health officer, said their monitoring showed that problems related to improper diet and unhealthy lifestyle topped the list of the major causes of mortality in the area.
A report released by the Integrated Provincial Health Office noted that cardiovascular diseases topped the list with at least 421 cases. It was followed by cancer (all forms) with 236 and pneumonia with 206.
Cardiovascular disease, according to medical references, refers to the class of diseases that involve the heart and/or the blood vessels.
The other killer diseases cited by the IPHO are septicemia/sepsis with 152 cases, accident (all forms) with 151, glomerural and renal diseases with 128, hypertension with 117 (the IPHO listed hypertension as separate from cardiovascular diseases), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with 97, diabetes with 76 and gastric and duodenal ulcer with 61.
"It's quite alarming because these diseases may be avoided. Like, those who have high blood pressure should avoid foods that are high in cholesterol while the diabetics should shun sweets," Sandig said.
To avoid these diseases, Sandig advised residents to maintain a balanced diet, avoid sedentary lifestyle, have regular exercise, learn about stress management, quit smoking and drinking of alcoholic beverages.
Meantime, acute respiratory infection topped the list of leading causes of morbidity last year with 5,082, doubling the 2,301 cases recorded in 2005.
The term morbidity rate can refer either to the incidence rate or to the prevalence rate of a disease. Morbidity statistics show the amount of disease there is in the population.
Significant increases were also recorded in the cases of pneumonia that jumped from 815 in 2005 to 4,272 last year and diarrhea that increased from 540 to 2,951.
Influenza cases rose from 411 to 1,607, hypertension from 291 to 1,340, bronchitis from 350 to 1,297, renal and glomerural diseases from 98 to 752 and tuberculosis from 86 to 940 .
Only malaria and dengue cases posted a decline last year. Malaria cases went down from 598 in 2005 to 469 last year while dengue cases decreased to 411 last year from 818 in 2005.