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Foundation decries increasing rate of cardiovascular disease in Nigeria

By Blessing Bature, Abuja

The Nigerian Cardiac Society, NCS, has expressed worries over the prevalence of cardiovascular disease killing Nigerians in their prime stage of life.

The President, NCS, Dr Okechukwu Ogah stated this at the National Hospital Abuja on Tuesday during a press briefing to herald its 51st Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference scheduled for Wednesday to Friday this week.

Ogah said that apart from genetic factors, cardiovascular disease in Nigeria is largely caused by ignorance, poverty, nutrition, and lack of exercise among others, with the prevalence domiciled in regions with heavy smoking and alcohol intake.

According to him, statistics available to the NCS reveals that one in hundred pregnant women in Nigeria develop heart problems by the time they are due for child delivery, 33 per cent of adults have high blood pressure and 10-15 per cent of cases are due to the obstruction of the valve.

He said, “In Nigeria, 33 per cent of the adult population has blood Pressure and this is one of the causes of heart diseases in the country and this is just the average. In some parts of the country, we have even 40 per cent. This is the reason why people go for kidney replacement.

“One-third of those who have high blood pressure don’t know, one-third who know they have are not under treatment and one-third of those under treatment are not under control.”

He expressed optimism that by the end of the 3-day conference themed: Cardiovascular Disease: from prevention to surgical care: progress, gaps and prospects, the Nigerian Cardiac Society would brainstorm on possible ways to fill the gaps.

Ogah added that the conference will also focus on learning new lessons from Covid-19 as regards infection and heart diseases, the use of mobile health in cardiovascular care and clinical trials and cardiovascular care in Africa; gaps and prospects.

He therefore stressed the need for a universal health coverage to further subsidise the cost of care and improve access to care for all Nigerians regardless of social status.

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