Over 30% of Nigerians Living with Hypertension

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High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

The Nigerian Hypertension Society has revealed that about 30 per cent of the Nigerian adult population currently suffers from hypertension.

President of the association, Professor Simeon Isezuo, stated this on Thursday during a press briefing held at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto State as part of activities to celebrate the 2024 World Hypertension Day.

He explained that the day was set aside to raise awareness and promote early detection and treatment of hypertension.
According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 1.28 billion adults aged 30–79 years worldwide have hypertension, most (two-thirds) living in low- and middle-income countries.

Isezuo said, “Hypertension is the leading cause of stroke, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and heart attacks resulting in death or disability.

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“This is particularly significant in Nigeria, where one in every three adults has hypertension. It has no symptoms until serious damage has been done to the body.

“Many people with this condition are unaware of having it, and only a few of those who are aware are on treatment, while many of them don’t take their medicines regularly.”
He noted that the sickness is preventable and treatable, the fact that hypertension was a rare condition among native Africans before Western civilization suggests that it is preventable. Obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and a diet rich in salt, fats, and sugar are currently the main factors behind the rising burden of hypertension in Africa.
“I, therefore, recommend the consumption of traditional African food derived from roots, stem, and leaves, regular exercise, and optimum weight for the prevention of hypertension,” he stated.

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While calling on federal lawmakers to enact a law compelling companies to enforce appropriate labelling of salt, fat, and sugar contents on food packages, he also called for the adoption of a traditional African active lifestyle that includes trekking, gardening, and native African dances.

Isezuo commended the Federal Government and its partners for incorporating the care of hypertension into the primary health care programme as well as training and supervising non-physician health workers.

He encouraged families to support and encourage those with hypertension to take their medicines regularly.
Isezuo added, “Regular blood pressure checks should be encouraged in the family. Ultimately, every family, household, or home in Nigeria should have a blood pressure apparatus for regular blood pressure checks.”

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