The Nigerian Cardiac Society has urged stakeholders in its sector to collectively unleash the power of knowledge to stop cardio-vascular diseases (CVDs) among Nigerians.
The Society, through its President, Prof. Augustine Odili, made the appeal in a statement on Friday in Ibadan commemorating the World Heart Day.
He said available data shows that over 20.5 million people die of heart-related diseases yearly.
Odili noted that more than 75 per cent of the deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
The World Heart Federation, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), has adopted Sept. 29 to mark World Heart Day.
This was in its bid to combat the scourge of heart diseases and promote healthy hearts.
CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels.
These include coronary heart disease, heart failure, kidney disease, strokes, peripheral artery disease, rheumatic heart disease, and other conditions.
“The risk factors for cardio-vascular diseases are entrenched in a tripod of genetics, environment, and lifestyle.
“The rising prevalence of cardio-vascular diseases, especially in developing countries like Nigeria, is becoming alarming.
“And this is not unconnected to rapid urbanisation, increase in air pollution, and lifestyle issues.
“The risk factors for heart diseases are many. The most common, and by far the important ones, are related to lifestyles such as lack of physical exercise.
“Others are smoking tobacco, consuming alcohol, taking unhealthy diets rich in salt and saturated fats but low in fresh fruits and vegetables,” Odili said.
He added that effective blood pressure control was a major panacea for reducing the cardio-vascular risk of affected people.
“Making the right decisions will lead to healthy life and prevent premature deaths from stroke and heart disease,” the Society President said.
Speaking on the 2023 Heart Day, Odili said the Nigerian Cardiac Society advocated for all to use #USEHEARTKNOWHEART# as a campaign opportunity.
He said this would help to consider how best to know the heart for effective care and to reduce cardio-vascular morbidity and mortality worldwide.
“This year’s campaign focuses on the essential step of knowing our hearts first, because we only love and protect what we know. The more we know our hearts, the better we can take care of it.
“We aim to break the barriers and empower individuals with the requisite knowledge to take control of their well-being.
“Beating cardio-vascular disease (CVD) is something that matters to every beating heart.
“In line with this, the Nigerian Cardiac Society calls on all and sundry to unanimously unleash the power of knowledge to stop the world’s biggest killer, CVD,” the Society President said.
He added that the #UseHeartKnowHeart# campaign is about knowing your heart first so that it can be well taken care of.
“This is by I’m proving your heart’s health and that of others by taking appropriate actions to ensure that everyone within your circle of influence have the best chance to choose heart-healthy lifestyles.
“This year, there is an emphasis on some major pillars, which include but are not limited to encouraging healthy lifestyles and increasing awareness of the importance of exercising rest,” Odili said.