Medical experts have said that avoiding tobacco use, eating balanced diet and regularly checking one’s blood pressure are some measures people should adopt to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Cardiovascular diseases, also known as heart diseases, are a group of disorders which include hypertension, heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, heart failure, rheumatic heart diseases, congenital heart disease and cardoimyopethies that affect the heart and other blood vessels in the body.
Another important measure to adopt is regular physical activity, the experts say.
According to Dr Augustine Odili, a cardiologist and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Abuja, the prevalence of heart diseases, including cardiac arrest, is increasing every day.
He said habits among Nigerians that cause the disease include: sedentary lifestyle and physical inactivity. “These are the main risk factors. These things cause hypertension or exacerbate those who are prone to hypertension or diabetes. This also predisposes people to heart attack.
Smoking really is a major factor but not a major challenge in our country,” he also said.
“Make exercise a regular part of your life. Undertake a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity at least five times a week, regular climbing of the stairs instead of using the elevator,” said Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole.
He warned that it was important to adopt these measures because Nigeria is at the verge of Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) epidemic, and called for urgent action through change of life-styles to prevent the disease.
Adewole disclosed at an event to mark the World Heart Day in Abuja, that 17.7 million people were estimated to have died from CVDs complications in 2015 which represents 31 per cent of global deaths.
According to him, it has been predicted that 23 million people will die of CVDs in 2030 if urgent measures are not put in place to halt the trend.
Represented by the Director, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Dr Nnena Ezegwe, the minister said: “The national data from a survey on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Nigeria indicated that only 33 per cent of hypertensives in Nigeria are aware of their condition with the prevalence of hypertension in excess of 20 per cent in the population.”
The Executive Director, Nigerian Heart Foundation, Dr. Kingsley K. Akinroye, said, “Today, CVD is the biggest killer disease,” adding that in Nigeria, the number of people dying or falling ill due to heart disease and stroke before the age of 50 has been rising over the last 10 years.
He noted that his foundation, through its programme – National Heart Awareness Programme – will soon launch a campaign aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles in work places.
Sourec: Daily Trust