A Brief Commentary on the Most Common Diseases in Pakistan

by Maria Amir
A Brief Commentary on the Most Common Diseases in Pakistan

Often distracted in current affairs, many of us have overlooked the top trending diseases in Pakistan and how it has been affecting us as a nation. In this brief article, we will look at different studies and stats for the total disease distribution in Pakistan.  

  • Ischemic Heart Disease 8%
  • Cancer 8%
  • Lower-Respiratory Infections 8%
  • Stroke 6%
  • Diarrheal Diseases 6%
  • Neonatal Encephalopathy 5%
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 5%
  • TB 5%
  •  Pre-Term Birth Complications 4%
  • Diabetes 3%

Reasons Behind Most Common Diseases in Pakistan

Reasons for Cardiovascular Diseases

There has been an exponential rise in cardiovascular diseases due to changes in lifestyle, diet, and other health contributing factors. This significant change is a reflection of how rapid fluctuations in industrialization, urbanization, market globalization along economic development have become. People have begun on a nutrient-dense diet with an almost null physical activity. The imbalance of nutrition and increased tobacco consumption are the driving factors of cardiovascular diseases in most populations. 

I bet most of us did not truly know that stroke is more of a disability than a disease. This is majorly due to type 2 diabetes and increased hypertension. In 2020 Pakistan stood as the fourth most populous country in diabetes, which is the direct contributing factor in stroke. 

According to a CDC survey high blood pressure, cholesterol-rich diet, obesity, and type 2 diabetes are major reasons for cardiovascular diseases. 50% of Pakistan’s population has hypertension above the age of 50. One in four Pakistan people is at risk of cardiovascular disease before the age of 40 in urban Pakistan. The same research also highlighted how women are at a greater risk than men.

Reason for Cancer Development

In one of the most recent releases, WHO highlighted over 8 million annual cancer deaths. It is quite scary to see Pakistan making its way in 8 million distribution quite rapidly. Every year there is a two-fold increase in people who are diagnosed with cancer. Currently, there is an alarming 100,000 cancer mortality rate that itself advocates for the devastating public health affairs. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency assessment report on cancer, each year there is an increase in 10,000 cancer patients. The demographics by the Pakistan Medical Research Council conducted on cancer prevalence concluded the following risk factors : 

Reason for Lower Respiratory Infection

Respiratory diseases in Pakistan account for 20%to 30% of deaths in young children. The data on mortality rates is highly insufficient to give a comprehensive conclusion. Pneumonia, influenza, and bronchiolitis are more lethal as compared to other diseases. 

Reason for Diarrheal Disease

Travelers’ diarrhea has become a trademark for everyone who comes to Pakistan on their first-ever visit. Why is this so? Water pollution. According to a 2010 study, Pakistan was among the five countries that had the most deaths due to diarrhea and pneumonia in children. 

Reason for TB

Despite new medical advancements and developments, Pakistan has an estimated 510000 new TB cases each year making it the fifth B-high burden country in the world. According to a WHO survey, Pakistan accounts for 61% of TB distribution in the Eastern Mediataterean Region. As it happens to be more prevalent in men, it is important to make considerable lifestyle changes to prevent any such development of diseases. 

Reason for Diabetes

Diabetes is being considered the most prevalent and chronic pandemic disease in Pakistan. The chronic condition of diabetes is considered with long-term metabolic damage, dysfunction, and failure of organs. Almost 1.5 to 5 million deaths are recorded annually that happens due to diabetes.

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