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Coronary Artery Disease in the Philippines

Medically reviewed by Mike Kenneth Go Doratan, MD · General Surgery · The Medical City Ortigas

Written by Kathy Kenny Ylaya Ngo · Updated Jun 11, 2021

Coronary Artery Disease in the Philippines

-1 in 2 Filipinos have high cholesterol.

46.9% of Filipinos aged 20 and above are found to be borderline high cholesterol, which is alarming because cholesterol no longer looks at age. Before, people who are in their 40s are most affected by high cholesterol. But nowadays, even those who are in their 20s are affected by this condition.

High cholesterol is one of the biggest contributors to heart disease.

Heart Problems are responsible for almost 20% of deaths in the Philippines

According to World Life Expectancy, the Philippines holds the 28th place in the world, during a survey done in the year 2018, when it comes to death by coronary artery disease. This means that almost 20% of deaths in the Philippines are caused by heart problems. 

In a 2017 survey done by the Philippines Statistics Authority, 50,503 males and 33,617 females died from heart disease. This amounts to 84,120 which is 14.5% of total registered mortalities. 23% of deaths by males and 12% of female deaths are caused by tobacco smoke.  This is why coronary artery disease in the Philippines is the leading cause of death in the country.

The Philippines ranks in the top 15 countries with high rates of tobacco-related diseases

coronary artery disease in the philippines

The Philippines is also one of the 15 countries in the world who have a heavy share of tobacco-related diseases. In health expenditures, tobacco costs the Philippines roughly Php188 billion pesos. This is from smoking related diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, lung cancer, and coronary artery disease. 

Coronary artery disease also known as heart disease in the Philippines.

However, Coronary artery disease pertains to the condition that puts you at a risk for heart attack. For people with coronary artery disease, the arteries that supply blood to the heart get clogged with fatty deposits called plaques.

What is The Main Cause Of Coronary Artery Disease in The Philippines? 

Coronary artery disease is caused by plaque buildup that results from bad cholesterol being deposited to the walls of the arteries supplying your heart. The fatty plaque ruptures, and blood clots can form, completely blocking the artery, causing a heart attack.

Eventually the heart attack episode can lead to heart failure, causing problems to your other organs.

The fact that coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the Philippines comes as no surprise since Filipinos love to eat oily food such as crispy pata and fried chicken, which is a staple in most of the household in the Philippines. These types of food are a great source of bad cholesterol. 

Younger Filipinos are becoming more prone to contracting coronary artery disease because of unhealthy habits.

Consumption of saturated fats, easily digested carbohydrates, and trans fats, as well as a lifestyle of late night sleeping plus no work out are the biggest contributor according to the Department of Health.

What Are the Risk Factors of Coronary Artery Disease In The Philippines?

There are two kinds of risk factors of coronary artery disease in the Philippines. There are certain risk factors that you can change and a lot of risk factors that you can change to avoid becoming sick with coronary artery disease. 

The risk factors of coronary artery disease in the Philippines are age and sex. If you have one or more close relatives who have or had early coronary artery disease, you are at an increased risk for coronary artery disease. A person is said to have early coronary artery disease if they are diagnosed before 55 for men and before 65 for women. The risk factors that can be changed by making necessary lifestyle changes are smoking, cholesterol level, blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, physical inactivity, and diet. These are things that you can control or get rid of to decrease the risk of getting coronary artery disease. 

As we all know, smoking kills. Over 103,600 Filipinos die from smoking-related diseases each year. Smoking causes the arteries in the heart to constrict. It also increases blood pressure and pulls up your heart rate. The nicotine that you inhale causes clots to form in the heart and the carbon monoxide reduces the oxygen for the heart. 

If you learn to eat healthy and right, this will immediately address diabetes, obesity, dietary, and your cholesterol level. You don’t need to deprive yourself of food that you love. You just need to eat in moderation the things that do not do your body good. After, learn to increase your physical activities so that you can start getting rid of the toxins in your body, lower your blood pressure, and keep your heart pumping healthily.

Key Takeaways

In the Philippines, coronary artery disease makes up for 20% of deaths that are officially recorded. However, this does not mean that the condition is not preventable. The Philippines recognizes that the use of tobacco needs to be more controlled. This is why public health programs are a top priority since this affects the overall quality of life and well-being of every Filipino. 

The campaign against tobacco seems to be doing well because from October 2019 to December 2019, tobacco production actually took a hit of 48.4%. This is a good indicator that more Filipinos are becoming health conscious. 

With the right lifestyle, healthy eating, less stress, and a more positive mindset, you can avoid becoming sick and live a healthier life free of coronary artery disease. 


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mike Kenneth Go Doratan, MD

General Surgery · The Medical City Ortigas

Written by Kathy Kenny Ylaya Ngo · Updated Jun 11, 2021

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