Top Causes of Death in Malaysia 2023: Heart Disease, Pneumonia, and Cancer Dominate

In 2023, Malaysia’s health landscape was dominated by non-communicable diseases, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM). These findings underscore the urgent need for enhanced public health initiatives and preventive care.

Malaysian Death Statistics 2023

Ischaemic Heart Disease: Leading Cause of Death

Ischaemic heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in Malaysia, accounting for 16.1% of medically certified deaths. This trend has persisted for over two decades, highlighting the significant impact of cardiovascular diseases on public health​ (Department of Statistics Malaysia)​​ (BusinessToday)​. In 2022 alone, 20,322 deaths were attributed to this condition, with a notable prevalence among males, who represented 18.2% of these fatalities​ (BusinessToday)​.

Pneumonia: A Persistent Threat

Pneumonia emerged as the second leading cause of death, particularly affecting the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions. It accounted for 11.1% of deaths in 2022. Pneumonia was also the principal cause of death for females, making up 14.3% of female fatalities​ (BusinessToday)​. The disease remains a significant health challenge, especially in states like Sabah and Sarawak, where it surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death.

Cancer: Rising Mortality Rates

Cancer has seen a troubling rise, becoming the fourth leading cause of death in Malaysia. Its contribution to the overall mortality rate increased from 10.5% in 2021 to 12.6% in 2022. The most common cancers include breast, colorectal, lung, lymphoma, and liver cancers​ (Malay Mail )​​ (​. The high mortality rate is often attributed to late-stage diagnosis, with over 60% of cases detected at stages three and four​ (Malay Mail )​.

Addressing the Health Crisis

The Malaysian government and health authorities are actively working to combat these leading causes of death through various health initiatives. These include promoting early detection and regular health screenings, especially for cancer, as well as encouraging a healthy lifestyle to prevent heart disease and pneumonia​ (​.

Health Minister Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad emphasized the importance of comprehensive healthcare services that are accessible to all Malaysians. Efforts are being made to ensure early cancer detection and improve treatment outcomes through the National Immunisation Programme and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for young girls​ (​.


The 2023 statistics on the leading causes of death in Malaysia highlight the critical need for ongoing public health efforts and preventive care. By addressing these major health challenges head-on, Malaysia aims to reduce mortality rates and improve the overall quality of life for its citizens.

For more detailed information, you can visit the Department of Statistics Malaysia’s official report.  As Malaysia grapples with the significant health challenges posed by ischaemic heart disease, pneumonia, and cancer, innovative treatments are emerging to provide new hope.  We provide treatments for the main causes of death in Malaysia. If you want to seek medical assistance or do treatments for prevention, contact us today:

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