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Published On: Fri, May 18th, 2018

World Hypertension Day: Doctors advise Nigerians on disease, prevention, treatment

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Some medical experts have identified hypertension as the most common non-communicable disease in Nigeria and called for more awareness of the need for checkups, healthy diet and lifestyle to guard against it.
The experts spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos, as Nigeria joins other nations to celebrate the 2018 World Hypertension Day (WHD).
WHD is a day to promote awareness of hypertension and encourage people to prevent and control this silent killer, referred to many as the modern epidemic.
The celebration had the theme: “Know Your Numbers With a Goal of Increasing High Blood Pressure (BP) Awareness in all Populations Around the World’’.
Afolabi Akinkunmi, a cardiologist, said hypertension remained the most frequently diagnosed cardiovascular disorder in Nigeria.
Mr Akinkumi, who works at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, lamented that most people had yet to be aware of the disease.
“Hypertension is the most common non-communicable disease in Nigeria.
“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the prevalence of hypertension is highest in African countries at 46 per cent of adults, aged 25- years and above.
“Hypertension is an indication for the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, heart attacks, kidney disease, and other related disorders.
“With the passage of time, the blood vessels gradually lose their elasticity, and this may lead to rise in systolic pressure when the heart contracts,’’ he told NAN.
Some medical experts have identified hypertension as the most common non-communicable disease in Nigeria and called for more awareness of the need for checkups, healthy diet and lifestyle to guard against it.
The experts spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos, as Nigeria joins other nations to celebrate the 2018 World Hypertension Day (WHD).
WHD is a day to promote awareness of hypertension and encourage people to prevent and control this silent killer, referred to many as the modern epidemic.
The celebration had the theme: “Know Your Numbers With a Goal of Increasing High Blood Pressure (BP) Awareness in all Populations Around the World’’.
Afolabi Akinkunmi, a cardiologist, said hypertension remained the most frequently diagnosed cardiovascular disorder in Nigeria.
Mr Akinkumi, who works at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, lamented that most people had yet to be aware of the disease.
“Hypertension is the most common non-communicable disease in Nigeria.
“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the prevalence of hypertension is highest in African countries at 46 per cent of adults, aged 25- years and above.
“Hypertension is an indication for the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, heart attacks, kidney disease, and other related disorders.
“With the passage of time, the blood vessels gradually lose their elasticity, and this may lead to rise in systolic pressure when the heart contracts,’’ he told NAN.
On the causes, Mr Akinkumi said hypertension could be the consequences of medical conditions.
“Hypertension precipitated by other disease conditions in the body is called secondary hypertension.
“Secondary hypertension includes adrenal gland tumor, blocked renal artery, obstructive sleep apnea, kidney diseases, endocrine diseases, obesity and nutritional causes,’’ he said.
According to him, environmental factors that contribute to hypertension include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and eating of high-fat diet, high-salt diet, caffeine and tobacco.
Ayodeji Abdulrasheed, a dietician, at StaMed Nutritional and Health Services, urged the general public to adopt a healthy diet to reduce cardiovascular related diseases.
Mr Abdulrasheed said there were several types of cardiovascular related diseases but high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, was the number one risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
According to him, eating food rich in nutrients such as potassium, calcium and magnesium can help to lower blood pressure and prevent risks of heart failure.

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