NIMR: Hypertension Leading Cause of Sudden Death in Nigeria


Rebecca Ejifoma

The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) has revealed that high blood pressure remains number one killer disease in Nigeria, accounting for about 52 per cent cause of sudden deaths in the country.

The Director-General of NIMR, Prof. Babatunde Salako, made this known at a symposium on ‘Sudden Death in Nigeria: Public Dissemination of National Survey’ held at the research centre in Yaba, Lagos.

Citing Wikipedia, the DG defined hypertension, also known as high blood pressure (HBP), as a long-term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated.

According to Salako, hypertension is a silent killer which 70 per cent of people were not aware of. “It is a silent killer because it usually comes with no early symptoms.

To stem the rate of sudden death, Salako urged Nigerians to keep a healthy lifestyle, do regular exercises and blood pressure checks, eat healthy and avoid sedentary lifestyle.

The Head, Non-Communicable Disease, NIMR, Dr. Nkiru Odunukwe, said sudden death had become a leading global health problem. “Over seven million people are estimated to die suddenly annually, representing 40 per cent of the annual global deaths.”

Continuing, she said without appropriate interventions, the rate was expected to double by 2020 with 83 per cent of sudden death cases occurring in developing countries. “The declining incidence of sudden death in developed countries has been attributed to availability of detailed research data for adequate intervention programmes.”
In his remarks, the Head of Immunology and Vaccinology Research Group in NIMR, Dr. Bamidele Iwalokun, urged health workers to improve on national surveillance guidelines on sudden death identification and reporting.

He shared details of the report, which shows a total of 642 cases of sudden death were autopsied during the review period. The South-west accounted for 70. 9 per cent of the total data brought in for the study. There were a total of 410 (63.8 per cent) males and 232 (36.2 per cent) females in the study, giving a ratio of 1.8.1.The age group most affected was 41-50 years (21.2 per cent) with the least affected in the age range of 18-20 years (1.25 per cent)

  • Nice write-ups! Hypertension is a chronic disease that is really over looked or not well understood by many forks,
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  • American Abroad

    Is it possible that the esteemed researchers at Nigeria’s flagship Medical Research Institute might be confusing association with causation? Perish the thought!

  • henry price

    comrades to my knowledge it is possible to remedy hypertension by maintaining proper diet plus exercise. It is likely it would be best for Nigeria to include in its healthcare campaign a proper diet to avoid hypertension plus exercises with recommendations for what is ample amount of walking as exercise. Bottom line is we should pursue prevention. Ignorance is causation of hypertension. Solve hypertension ignorance thus we will be of position to eliminate hypertension. Prevention works in all best interest plus allow for physicians to pursue more challenging injuries plus illnesses. Very much sincere, Henry Author (people of books) Price Jr. aka Obediah Buntu IL-Khan aka Kankan aka Gue.

    • Toyin Ajayi

      I believe also regular monitoring is very essential…Recently that has been made possible by the introduction of a very nifty wearable device taking the globe by storm…Its called the Helo….Health and life Oracle… It monitors several bioparameters 24hrs including Blood Pressure and can also perform a single lead EKG!! Having this gadget will definitely help you monitor yourself adequately against this silent killer…Please check out this link for more on the amazing helo lx

      • henry price

        Thank you very much. Very sincere, Henry Author(people of books) Price Jr. aka Obediah Buntu IL-Khan aka Kankan aka Gue.