Population curve of Malaysia.
Malaysia is an Ageing Country.
An ageing society is defined as having a minimum seven per cent of its population aged 65 and older, while an aged nation has 14 per cent or more in that age group.
As of 2016, Malaysians aged 60 and above comprise 9.5 per cent of the population. This is projected to increase to 14.4 per cent in 13 years’ time and nearly a quarter of the population (23.5 per cent) by 2050. (re: The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific’s 2016 population data sheet).
The pictorial graphs below depict the upward trend of the ageing population and the decreasing numbers of the youth.
Non communicable Diseases in Malaysia
As Malaysians age, the risk of non communicable diseases increase. In Malaysia the alarming risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity are on a dramatic rise. Post menopausal Malaysian women with the loss of estrogen are at a high risk of non communicable diseases.
The graph below shows the numbers of Malaysians affected with hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and are obese in 2012. The numbers are higher today in 2017.
Many women worry about dying from cancer especially breast cancer. The biggest killer in Malaysia for both men and women is cardiovascular disease i.e. heart attacks, strokes and other heart related issues.
This series of four tables and graphs depict the increase in 4 main issues i.e. obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol in Malaysian men and women over 15 years (1996-2011).
Cardiovascular disease (or heart disease) is the biggest killer in Malaysia.
The average age of a heart attack is 58 years. More than half of those with heart attacks have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or are obese.
After menopause more women are at a risk for heart disease. Women are more likely to die from a heart attack when compared to men.
Diabetes in Malaysia
In the last 5 years (2100-2016), the number of Malaysian men and women with diabetes has jumped from 15.2 % to 31%. This is in comparison to the world average of 2.8%.
We are also an obese nation ranking highest in BMI in comparison to our Asian partners.
Osteoporosis in Malaysia
Incidence of Hip Fractures by Age in the Malaysian Population (Data as of 1997). Variations in different ethnic groups.
Incidence by age group / 100,000
Malaysian data on Osteoporosis has shown that:
- Chinese women had the highest incidence of hip fractures (44.8%)
- 20% of men and women die in the first year after a hip fracture
- Only 25% of men and women resume normal activity after a hip fracture
- 25% will always need a walking aid for the future
A Summary of the Malaysian Clinical Guidance on the management of post menopausal and male osteoporosis 2015.
Swan Sim Yeap, Fen Lee Hew, Premitha Damodaran, Winnie Chew, Joon King Lee, Emily Man Lee Goh, Malik Mumtaz, Heng Hing Lim, Siew Pheng Chan.
Malaysians have been found to be lacking Vitamin D despite being a sunny country. Vitamin D helps push calcium into bone. Additional Vitamin D is recommended for both men and women.
Cancers in Malaysia
By 75 years of age, 1:4 Malaysian men and women will have cancer. The need for regular examinations and early detection of cancer has never been more important than now. Cancers have a huge economic impact in our lives. Cancer treatment is expensive especially with recurrent disease. A year after diagnosis, many are financially drained.
For a Malaysian woman, the commonest cancer is breast cancer. 4000 cases are detected every year. Even though the risk of a Malay woman to have cancer is lower than that of Chinese and Indian, she usually presents later with a higher death rate.
The other common cancers in Malaysian women are colorectal, cervical, ovarian and nasopharyngeal cancer. About 1/3 of cancers are preventable. Another third of cancers can be cured if detected early.
Mental Health issues in Malaysia
Elderly men and women are likely to suffer from depression due to loss of independence, medical problems, financial constraints, existing mental health issues, emotional or social issues.
Women are more likely to suffer from depression as the loss of estrogen aggravates mental health issues.