Heart Diseases Emerged as Leading Death Cause in Pakistan


by Iqra Zafar

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Pakistan Demographic Survey reports cardiovascular diseases (CDV) as a top killer in Pakistan in 2020 resulting in 317,850 casualties. This number accounts for 21.19 per cent of total deaths in 2020 and has heart attacks, heart strokes and heart failures as the primary cause of death.

Key findings of this survey conducted by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics recently revealed that Pakistan’s Crude Death Rate (CDR) has dropped recently. At a rate of 6.7 deaths per 1000 individuals, Pakistan has reported 1.5 million deaths in 2020 according to the last census with a current population of 224.1 million.

Data obtained from the same survey reveals that cardiovascular diseases have been the leading cause of death. Among these cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks and heart failure collectively resulted in 221,100 deaths are almost 14.74 per cent of the total casualties. On the other hand, heart stroke alone is responsible for 6.54 per cent of casualties which equals 96,750 deaths.


Other than cardiovascular diseases, fever and diabetes are the second and third leading death in Pakistan resulting in 139,200 (9.28 per cent) and 84,450 (5.63 per cent) casualties respectively. COVID-19 also caused 1.01 per cent of deaths (15,150) in the same year. Further, the cause of 21.4 per cent of deaths in 2020 is still unknown due to which the data is still not accurate.

Talking about these numbers senior health statistician and cardiologist Prof. Dr Khawar Kazmi said that “WHO believes that around 29 per cent of the total deaths occurred due to cardiovascular disease in Pakistan which includes both heart diseases and strokes. It means that now non-communicable diseases which are preventable are now taking more lives than infectious diseases including hepatitis, dengue, Covid-19, pneumonia and other infections.”