Death is always a sad thing to happen, no matter how one dies. Here, we are going to explore the leading causes of death in Bangladesh in recent years.

Over the last 48 years since independence, Bangladesh has made tremendous development in the Health Sector. With the improvement of economic condition and awareness program initiated by the Government and NGOs, Bangladeshi people now live 15 years more than previous decades. More children are likely to finish the school years, and more mothers are living to see their child’s face.

However, Disease patterns also changed over time. In the past, infectious diseases such as cholera, TB were among the leading causes of death in Bangladesh, along with maternal and child mortality.

The cholera outbreak was a regular phenomenon. TB was equal to death. But in present days Bangladesh is among the most successful countries who defended their citizens from such disease.

Consecutive governments were able to increase health education and awareness to fight these diseases.

Although death due to infectious diseases and maternal and child mortality reduced, the top position now holds noncommunicable diseases or NCD. According to WHO 2016 data, 67% of all death in Bangladesh are now due to NCDs. That means 2 in 3 people are dying from these type of illness.

Here are the top 5 leading causes of death in Bangladesh.

1. Cardiovascular disease(CVD)

CVD holds the top position, with 30% among all causes of death.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are disorders of the heart and blood vessels. These include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease, and other heart-related conditions.

In addition to that, four out of five CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, stroke and heart attacks are the main reasons behind morbidity and disability among older generations.

The dominant risk factors for CVDs are physical inactivity, smoking, and family history. They accelerate high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and obesity. Over time they ensure damage to the vital organs such as heart and blood vessels. Moreover, many people don’t take medications accordingly, even after the diagnosis.

Around 31% of the population in Bangladesh have increased cholesterol levels, 25.4% have high blood pressure, and 6.4% of  adults are suffering from diabetes. These are causing an alarming rate of death due to CVDs.

 2.Infectious diseases, maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions.

Major Communicable diseases predominant in Bangladesh are TB, Diarrhea, Dengue, Malaria, etc.

Death, while giving birth, is termed as maternal death. Common causes of maternal mortality are Eclampsia, Pre-eclampsia, and Prolong obstruction of labor.

Perinatal asphyxia, preterm birth, Protein-energy malnutrition for the child holds 26% of all deaths.

 3. Cancer 

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Bangladesh. Where 12% of all deaths are attributed to cancer.

Lung cancer and oral cancer are the two most common cancers among Bangladeshi men, whereas cervical cancer and breast cancer are the most common among women.

Lack of awareness, reluctant to visit doctors, uses of tobacco products, air pollution, unhygienic working conditions, contamination of food are mostly responsible for cancer.  

 4. Chronic respiratory diseases 

Chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) are diseases of the airways and other structures of the lung. 10% of death occur due to CRDs. Some of the most common is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, occupational lung diseases, and pulmonary hypertension.

The risk factors include tobacco smoking, air pollution, industrial chemicals, and dust, frequent lower respiratory infections during childhood.

 5. Other NCD and injuries

Other Noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes, kidney disease, liver, and gastrointestinal diseases, as well as a road traffic accident,  caused 22% of death.

While diabetes directly causes 3% death, however, it is the leading risk factor that is responsible for heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.

In 2019 alone, traffic accident took more than 5000 lives.

Bottom line

Although death is imminent, this condition can be tackled with proper awareness and constructive initiatives. On top of that, Bangladesh already managed to prevent major infectious diseases. Therefore, we can hope that non-communicable conditions are also preventable.


Dr Mazharul Islam

Dr. Mazharul Islam acquired a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Sylhet MAG Osmany Medical College and trained in internal medicine at Dhaka Medical College, Bangladesh. He is a practicing and motivated Medical doctor. He is exclusively working to eliminate superstitious belief from the society


Arif · January 7, 2020 at 5:55 pm

Thanx for sharing this kind of informative article

    Dr Mazharul Islam · January 8, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    Thank you too. I provide 100% acurate information. Wish you will keep reading my articles.

    Dr Mazharul Islam · January 31, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Its a great pleasure that you liked it. Keep reading my post. I think you will find it interesting.

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