Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, has said that hypertension is the major cause of deaths among other cardiovascular related diseases in Nigeria.
Adewole, who noted that 1 in every 5 Nigerians is hypertensive, added that most of the cases are as a result of unhealthy diet.
The Minister further warned that if untreated, hypertension can lead to stroke.
He added that death rate resulting from stroke is about 40-50 per cent within the first three months of diagnoses, while 39 per cent of those who survived stroke after three months died within a year, with 12 per cent developing severe disability.
Adewole made the disclosure during his keynote address in Lagos, during the First Annual Black Tie Gala event organised by the Tristate Heart Foundation (THF).
The event was organised to raise N500 million in support of cardiovascular care in Nigeria.
“Sadly, there is widespread low consumption of proteins, fruits and vegetables and increasing patronage of fast food outlets by the population. There is also large promotion of sweetened products such as carbonated drinks, pastries, candies and other refined sugars, while excessive intake of salt is promoted by food additives such as monosodium glutamate common in delicacies such as suya, kilisi, isi-ewu, ngwo-ngwo, among others,” the Minister said.
“I can say without fear of contradiction that at least five out of 10 adults seated here tonight have elevated blood pressure and more than half of these are not aware of their situation.
“This is frightening because the dire consequence of neglected hypertension is stroke without warning. Unless we take drastic and sustained actions, we will keep counting losses,” he added.