The Deadliest Diseases in Mexico

When it comes to modern medical care, Mexico is currently a country of contradictions. On the one hand, it has a large hospital system (3,600+ hospitals) and it’s projected that its investment in medical equipment and devices will increase with a new president taking office this year. On the other hand, there are a number of chronic health conditions that are rising at alarming rates as the number of seniors increases.

To help you understand Mexico’s evolving health care picture, we took a look at the most recent data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and broke it down based on the issues that are currently the greatest concerns for the country.

Deadly Diseases

Not surprisingly, the conditions of greatest concern in Mexico are the ones with the highest mortality rate. Several major causes of death have steadily increased in prevalence over the last decade, which has certainly been viewed as problematic by health care professionals around the world. According to IHME, heart disease in particular has steadily risen in Mexico, with a 50.8% increase in incidence from 2005 to 2016. It is now the number one cause of premature death in Mexico. In addition, kidney disease and diabetes have seen similar increases in incidence in Mexico, growing by 55.8% and 45.6%, respectively, from 2005 to 2016.

However, the news isn’t all bad in Mexico. For example, congenital defects in infants were the number one cause of premature deaths in 2005, but rates have decreased 25.7% since then, and it is now only the sixth leading cause of premature deaths. Rates of respiratory infection and premature birth as causes of premature death have also declined since 2005.

Diseases That Cause Disability

When it comes to diseases that lead to chronic disability in patients, rather than death, Mexico also has several current conditions of concern, reports IHME. Many of these may be chalked up to an aging population in Mexico, although other factors may play a role. Specifically, low back and neck pain (47.1% increase in incidence from 2005 to 2016), diabetes (46.1% increase in incidence from 2005 to 2016) and chronic kidney diseases (56.6% increase from 2005 to 2016) all showed substantial increases over the last decade. Other issues of concerns are depression and anxiety, as well as migraine headaches and skin diseases.

Death & Disability Combined

When you put the rates of death and disability together over the past decade, the conditions of the greatest concern for Mexico become increasingly clear. Diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, violence and low back and neck pain all had death and disability rate increases of more than 40% between 2005 and 2016, reports IHME.

Risks in Mexico vs. Other Countries

Things may sound dire for Mexico, but the picture looks a little different when compared to other nations around the world. The reality is that most nations are currently dealing with aging populations, so these rising rates are not all that unusual. For example, Mexico’s rate of heart disease death and disability is actually significantly lower than the worldwide average. However, diabetes, kidney disease and violence all trend substantially higher, showing that these issues may be a real concern for the region.

How Hospitals Are Responding

If there’s any good news about the broad health care picture in Mexico, it’s that Mexico’s hospitals and medical centers are rising up to meet the challenge. According to data from our HospiScope database, between 2016 and 2017, Mexico’s hospitals increased their counts of the following equipment types:

  • A 50% increase in nuclear medicine systems
  • A 24% increase in MRI machines
  • A 26% increase in stereotactic mammography machines
  • A 17% increase in gamma cameras
  • A 6% increase in electrocardiogram machines

More Resources

Download our free 2018 HospiRank report on the best-equipped hospitals in Latin America to find out which are the best-equipped hospitals in Mexico in a variety of crucial sectors.

Next Steps

To explore about the opportunities for medical device/equipment and pharmaceutical manufacturers in Mexico, contact us for a demo of HospiScope — our LatAm hospitals database — and SurgiScope, the first database tracking surgical procedures done in Latin American hospitals.

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