Ischemic heart disease (IHD) accounts for over 40 per cent of annual deaths by non-communicable diseases in the country, according to the World Health Organisation’s global health estimates.
Gender-based studies show IHD is responsible for 39 per cent of deaths in men and 45 per cent in women. Cancer came second in both studies.
Professor Tint Swe Latt, chairman at the Myanmar Diabetes Association, said: “Infectious diseases account only for 30 per cent of annual deaths. About 59 per cent of them are because of non-infectious diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart diseases.
“Accidents were behind 11 per cent of annual deaths.”
People were dying early because of an unhealthy diet, he added.
Statistics suggest 2.5 million people have diabetes, 6.3 million suffer from hypertension, 5.3 million are obese, 8.8 million have high cholesterol levels, 6.2 million smoke, 10.3 million chew betel, and 4.7 million drink alcohol of which 2.4 million of them drink excessively.