A health expert, Dr. Amam Mbakwem, has said 30 to 40 per cent of Nigerians are hypertensive. Mbakwen, a cardiologist and president,Cardiac Society of Nigeria, made the statement in Lagos during an event to mark this year’s World Hypertension Day organised by Omron Healthcare. “Hypertension is one subject every Nigerian should be aware of. This is because the numbers are increasing in our nation. 15 to 20 years ago, it was like about 11 percent of adult Nigerians that will have hypertension but these days we are having figures like 30 percent and in some regional areas the figures are over 40 percent”, Mbakwem stated.
She expressed fear that about 30 million adult Nigerians are living with the disease and handful of others are yet to know their status. She warned of the damage the ailment could cause to the body if not detected early.
“It is not just the numbers whether it is 120 or 140 but the damage that it causes because with blood pressure high in the system, it is heating the brains and it can damage the brains and when that happens, we talk about stroke. It can damage the eyes it can cause blindness, the heart can fail, it can cause heart attack. It can damage the kidneys and the arteries in the body and that is why we want everybody to be aware and if your blood pressure is high, you should have yourself properly treated and checked.”
Nbakwem advised Nigerians to always monitor their blood pressures in their homes as part of efforts towards preventing complications from developing.