If the eating habit of the upper and middle class Nigerians is not changed, there may be an epidemic of unprecedented death syndrome in the country, which will arise from cerebral and coronal artery disease in middle aged people. Sounding this alarm has become necessary in view of recent increase in the number of people who “die suddenly” or die “without any apparent cause”.
Because of the lack of understanding of the symptoms, and because the victims are often perceived to be hale and hearty, this problem that has been ravaging the country is yet to receive any major attention in the medical circles.
Coronary heart disease is one of the most common causes of sudden deaths. This problem is caused by the build up of fats in the arteries which supplies blood to the hearth muscles .Also, another major cause of this problem is a fall-out of hypertension related factors, and dietary induced problems. Statistics show that about 335,000 people die of coronary heart diseases without being hospitalized or admitted to an emergency room, every year.
According to experts, in the case of sudden death, the time of death as well as the mode of death are unexpected-usually occurring within minutes after symptoms appear, even though, the victim may not have been diagnosed of heart disease. Some of the cases that lead to sudden death include aggressive lifestyles, obesity, diabetes, cigarette smoking, abnormal blood clothing, etc. Due to the fact that a proportion of Nigerians in middle age harbor two or more of these factors without knowing, other symptoms are suppressed until death strikes suddenly. These “well individuals” does not bother to go for regular medical check-ups; because they believe that they are well, forgetting that even ageing and the effects of wear and tear of normal daily activities take their tolls on our human body.
Hypertension still remains the commonest cardio vascular disease which kills suddenly, through its leading complications, stroke and hearth attack. There are usually no warnings symptoms, the victim will be hale and hearty by mere looking at them. There is an increase in the consumption of saturated fat, refined sugar, and excess salt in foods. The so called anatomic profiles of robust cheeks and pot belly as marks of affluence should really give cause for concern. The growing number of death is enough warning that the stage is set for an epidemic of sudden death and the time to act is now to avoid this avoidable disaster.