60m Nigerians, 1.8b people globally are hypertensive, say experts
• 50% of sufferers are unaware, at higher risk of kidney failure, others
• WHO data show only five per cent of deaths in Africa have recorded cause
No fewer than 60 million Nigerians, that is one in every three people in the country, are hypertensive.Also, according to the statistics released yesterday on the occasion of the World Hypertension Day (WHD), around three out of 10 people are suffering from hypertension worldwide.
Besides, medical experts, yesterday in Lagos, at the Nestle/Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN) WHD conference said approximately 1.8 billion of the people globally are suffering from hypertension and 50 per cent of them are unaware of their condition and some of them who are aware of their condition do not take any medical action for their blood pressure.
The experts include Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole; Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba, Prof. Chris Bode; Consultant Cardiologist at LUTH and President, Nigeria Cardiac Society (NCS), Prof. Amam Mbakwem; Commissioner of Health Ogun State, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye; Chairman, NSN, Lagos State Chapter, Dr. Tosin Adu; Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nestle Nigeria, Maurico Alarcon; and Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist and Infectious Disease at LUTH/College of Medicine University of Lagos (CMUL), Prof. Christy A.N. Okoromah.
Adewole said: “Hypertension is yet to have a translational meaning, let us all get educated and spread the knowledge to people. It is the most important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Let people be aware about the ailment. People should check their blood pressure.”
Ipaye, who stated that the health economic situation of the country is out of pocket and it is not our custom to be living on drugs, said the programme is to understand the drivers of hypertension, and if awareness were done regularly, one million lives would be saved yearly.
Mbakwem said: “Hypertension is most powerful risk factor for cardiovascular, morbidity and mortality. One of every two persons is hypertensive as there is strong relationship between blood pressure and cardiovascular mortality in all age groups.”
Meanwhile, according to WHO’s yearly world health statistics in 2015, 48 per cent of deaths were registered with a cause of death, ranging from five per cent of deaths in the African region to 95 per cent in the European region. Of the estimated 56 million deaths globally in 2015, 27 million were registered with a cause of death.
Also, WHO data in 2005 said only about a third of deaths had a recorded cause and unlike Africa, several countries have made significant strides towards strengthening the data they collect, including China, Turkey and the Islamic Republic of Iran, where 90 per cent of deaths are now recorded with detailed cause-of-death information, compared with five per cent in 1999.
The WHO publication noted that incomplete or incorrect information on those deaths that are registered also reduce the usefulness of those data for tracking public health trends, planning measures to improve health, and evaluating whether policies are working.