More Nigerians in their 30s are hypertensive — Cardiologist

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Consultant Cardiologist, Dr. Folasade Alli, has raised the alarm  that many Nigerians in their 30s are being diagnosed wth hypertension.

Alli, who is the Chief Medical Director of Executive Cardiovascular Clinic, spoke at a seminar organised by the hospital in Lagos.

According to her, the death of most young Nigerians can be linked to heart-related challenges caused by undetected and unmanaged hypertension

Alli said, “There have been instances of young Nigerians dying with heart-related diseases, and the  cause on the list is the silent killer, hypertension.

“In my earlier years of practice, high blood pressure was mostly an issue of the mature and old folk starting from 40, but now we see 28 to 35- year-old patients.

“The first issue with the younger generation is the false and unwise belief that they are young and thus, do not need to regularly check themselves; then the second is the fact that they are not taking preventive measures and, of course, the lack of public information on these plays a major role.”

The cardiologist said that Nigerians needed to drop all religious sentiments when it came to matters of their and make the necessary lifestyle changes to reduce their chances of developing heart-related diseases.

“ When Nigerians are told that their blood pressure is high, some reply ‘I reject it.’ But, guess what? It is indeed high – there is nothing to reject because it is happening. The bottom line is that this attitude needs to change,” she stated.

To reduce one’s risk of developing cardiovascular diseases , Alli recommended that individuals should reduce their salt and alcohol intake and avoid stress.

“Your stress level matters a lot too – for example, think about the health implication before you take a serious business decision – don’t attempt to whack a round brick into a triangular hole, it will stress you out!”

Alli, who stressed that high blood pressure could also be hereditary, advised those with a family history of the disease to be more watchful of their lifestyles while also maintaining a relationship with their cardiologists.

She advised Nigerians to imbibe the culture of going for medical checkups from the age of 28  as absence of symptoms does not mean there is none.

“We have some cases of young men dying of cardiac arrest during a tennis match, while jogging, and so on. This could have been prevented if they knew they had heart problems. When you do a comprehensive health assessment, abnormalities in the body may be detected and corrected.

“There are some hole-in-the heart cases that were discovered at 28. In fact, we had a hole-in-the heart case that was discovered in a pregnant woman. In essence, it is important to check as advised by a cardiologist or medical professional.”