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Alarming increase in cardiovascular disease

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By Mercy Kelani

Over 20.5 million people die of diseases related to the heart, annually.

There have been lamentations by the Nigerian Cardiac Society concerning the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases across the country. As a result, stakeholders in the country’s health sector have been implored by the Society to collectively unlock the power of awareness and knowledge to curb these diseases among citizens of Nigeria. This appeal and lament was made by the President of the Nigerian Cardiac Society, Prof. Augustine Odili, in a statement on September 29, 2023.

At the commemoration of the World Heart Day, which was held in Ibadan, Nigeria, Odili highlighted that available data has revealed that more than 20.5 million people die of diseases related to the heart, annually. He also said that over 75 percent of these deaths happen in low and middle income countries. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are disorders of the blood vessels and heart of the human body. These disorders include heart disease, kidney disease, and peripheral artery disease.

Most risk factors are associated with lifestyles.

Other conditions of CVDs include heart failure, strokes, rheumatic heart disease, and more. There are risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases, and they are embedded in the trio of environment, genetics, and lifestyle. The increasing prevalence of these heart-related diseases in a developing country like Nigeria is becoming worrisome. This prevalence has to do with rapid urbanization, lifestyle issues, and rise in air pollution. There are several risk factors that are associated with heart diseases, CVDs.

However, the most common risk factors, which are also considered the most significant ones, are associated with lifestyles, which includes a lack of physical exercise. Odili stated that other risk factors include smoking tobacco, intake of unhealthy diets that are rich in salt and saturated fat, but low in fresh vegetables and fruits, and consumption of alcohol. He likewise added that effective control of blood pressure was a major cure for the reduction of the cardiovascular risk of people who are already affected.

Campaign for World Heart Day, 2023, focuses on knowing one’s heart.

According to the President of the Nigerian Cardiac Society, Prof. Augustine Odili, ensuring to make the right decisions in every aspect of one’s life will bring about a healthy life and guarantee the prevention of premature deaths caused by heart disease and stroke. The campaign for World Heart Day, 2023, has its focus on the much required and significant step of knowing one’s heart first. This, according to Odili, is because one can only love and protect what they know.

Furthermore, the President added that the more one learns and knows about one’s heart, the better one would care for it. The aim of the Nigerian Cardiac Society for the commemoration of the World Heart Day is to break and move past the barriers, while empowering individuals with the necessary knowledge to take charge and be responsible for their well-being. Putting an end to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is an issue that concerns every heart that beats.

Cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer in the world.

In accordance with this objective, the Nigerian Cardiac Society has called on every one in the country to unlock the power of knowledge to put an end to the biggest killer across the globe, cardiovascular diseases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CVDs are considered as the leading cause of death around the world as it accounts for 17.9 million lives, yearly. However, research has shown that cessation of tobacco use, eating more fruits and vegetables, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, reduction of salt in diet, and regular physical activity could reduce the risk of CVD.

Related Link

WHO: Website

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