These are the leading causes of death in Pakistan


Pakistan is the 6th most populous country in the world with an estimated population of 200 million. However, Pakistan’s status as a developing country means that some important things have to take the back seat. Based on a 2013 survey it was found that the government only spends roughly 2.8% of the GDP on healthcare.

Healthcare in Pakistan is not really the best in the world. And if someone happens to be a little under-privileged, it can become even more difficult to get access to the best doctors. This is a major contributing factor to Pakistan’s high mortality rate. Earlier this year, Center for Disease Control, also known as CDC Global, released a detailed report on health in Pakistan. According to this report, life expectancy for men and women is 66 and 67 years respectively. While the infant mortality rate is the highest in Pakistan.

World Life Expectancy constantly updates their database with the leading reasons of deaths in a country and based on their information, here is a look at the top 10 causes of death in Pakistan.

1. Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary Heart Diseases (CHD) occur when a waxy substance builds up inside the coronary arteries and blocks the flow of oxygen rich blood to the heart and in many cases this leads to a heart attack. CHD is one of the top causes of deaths in Pakistan and every year about 9.87% of deaths are caused due to it taking the tally of total deaths up to 111,367. Read more to find the ordinary things that can cause a heart attack.

2. Influenza and Pneumonia

You would think that influenza and pneumonia are not life-threatening diseases but in Pakistan about 9.26% of deaths are caused due to it. Mostly people who don’t have access to clean and proper medical facilities fall prey to influenza and pneumonia. Of the 104,458 who die to to these diseases most of them are young children.

3. Stroke

A stroke is caused when the supply of oxygenated blood to the brain is cut off. This may be due to a blocked artery or a ruptured blood vessel. This deprives your brain of oxygen and other nutrients and can cause your brain cells to die. In case of a stroke immediate medical attention is needed otherwise it may lead to unrecoverable damage or even death. 7.5% deaths are caused due to a stroke each year.

4. Low Birth Weight

The weight of an average newborn is 8 pounds. However, there are numerous children across Pakistan who are born with a low birth weight of about 5 pounds, 8 ounces. In such a case, infants need a lot of care and attention which hospitals in Pakistan lag. About 77,000 new born children die due to a low birth weight every year.

5. Diarrhoeal Diseases

Diarrhoeal diseases are a leading cause of death in young children particularly those who live in unhygienic conditions, drink unclean water, and don’t have access to proper medical care. Globally, there are 1.7 billion reported cases of diarrhoeal diseases and kills about 525,000 children under five. In Pakistan, over 60,000 children die due to these diseases.

6. Lung Disease

There are multiple types of lung diseases which include asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and several others. In Pakistan about 5.46% of deaths are caused due to various lung diseases.

7. Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis has plagued mankind since ancient times. Despite the fact that the number has reduced over the years, the number of reported cases and eventual deaths due to TB are still very high in developing countries. About 80% people test positive for TB in Asia and Africa. In Pakistan alone, over 60,000 people die due to tuberculosis every year.

8. Birth Trauma

Birth Trauma or BT refers to the damage caused to the tissues and organs of a newborn due to physical pressure or trauma during childbirth. This often results in lifelong consequences of a cognitive nature due to damage caused to the brain. In Pakistan, there are over 52,000 reported cases of birth trauma per year.

9. Accidents & Other Injuries

Accidents and other serious injuries lead to death more often than we think. 4.27% of total deaths in Pakistan are caused due to injuries sustained during violent accidents.

10. Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes essentially affects your body’s ability to use the energy present in the food being eaten. There is type 1 and type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Over 40,000 deaths are caused due to diabetes in Pakistan.

Faryal is a 25-year-old fitness freak who spent the better part of her life chomping burgers but now likes to indulge in a healthy salad.