PUTRAJAYA, May 16 — The National Health and Morbidity Survey 2023 launched by the Health Ministry today found that two in five adult Malaysians, or 38 per cent, are suffering from insufficient sleep.

The ministry’s key findings in the report on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) and Healthcare Demand released today, also found that insufficient sleep is linked to the prevalence in obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, depression and accidents nationwide.

“The pandemic of NCDs is the real challenge. NCDs are the leading causes of death, premature death.

“Distressingly, over half a million of Malaysian adults were living with four NCDs all at once, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and obesity,” Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said at the launch of the report here.


Lack of sleep was more common in those living in urban areas, compared to rural areas, and over 40 per cent of adults in the 40 to 49 and 50 to 59 age groups respectively are not getting the recommended amount of sleep a day — seven hours.

The minister also highlighted that the prevalence of NCDs were increasing among those under 40 years old.

The report also showed that one in three adults have hypertension, which translates to 6.7 million Malaysians.


Hypertension is a huge problem in the country with 80 per cent of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 were found unaware that they have the condition.

The study found that 11.9 per cent of adults across all age groups were unaware they have hypertension.

But, the number of people with hypertension reduced 0.8 per cent compared to 2019, Dzulkefly said.

Diabetes is also now one of the top killers in Malaysia, with 3.6 million, or one in six Malaysian adults, diagnosed with it.

According to the report, 84 per cent of adults aged 18 to 29 are unaware that they have diabetes.

While the report said the prevalence of diabetes in this age group remains low, the risk increases as they age with poor dietary habits the leading cause.

However, the percentage of diabetics reduced 2.9 per cent compared to 2019, the minister said during a press conference.

The report revealed that only 4.9 per cent of adult Malaysians were consuming the recommended intake of five servings of fruit and vegetables daily, as the bulk of Malaysians consumed only two servings of vegetables a day.

One serving of vegetables is equivalent to one cup of raw vegetables or half cup of cooked vegetables and one serving of fruit is equivalent to one medium apple or one medium banana.

However, four in five Malaysians are drinking enough plain water every day, the report said.

In the report, abdominal obesity and being overweight has gone up 10 per cent over the past decade.

In 2011, 44.5 per cent of adult Malaysians were overweight or obese; in 2023, the figure went up to 54.4 per cent.

Nearly half of the adult population (49.9 per cent) were reported to have sedentary behaviour and 29.9 per cent of adults were physically inactive, the survey showed.

The report also found that one million Malaysians over 15 years of age had depression.

Dzulkefly encouraged Malaysians to go for mental health screenings, saying the younger generation have been found to be affected more.

The survey was done from July to September last year with a total of 13,616 respondents across all age groups nationwide with a response rate of 83.2 per cent.