BusinessDay

80% of heart-related diseases avoidable, says NHF

About 80 percent of the heart-related diseases that people suffer, especially in Nigeria, are avoidable, the Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF) has said.

The foundation stated this on World Heart Day, a global event held annually to create awareness and advocate for a healthy lifestyle.

NHF explained that heart-related diseases could be addressed if unhealthy diets, tobacco use, physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol, and air pollution are controlled.

“There is a need to address carbon emissions by the government to reduce cardiovascular diseases,” said Dolapo Coker, member, Nutrition Committee of the foundation.

Coker, who is also a former President, Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology, noted that heart-related diseases remained the number one cause of death worldwide, claiming 18.6 million lives per year.

“The World Heart Foundation (WHF) was calling for urgent action on climate change and health inequity, saying millions more lives are now at risk from cardiovascular disease, which is still the world’s biggest killer,” she said.

In addition, she said that working together with the World Health Organisation (WHO), WHF was calling on governments, civil society, and global industry to meet net-zero targets, tackle global warming and curb air pollution, and to deliver healthcare access for all.

“A new global survey by WHF highlights the global concern surrounding the link between climate change and cardiovascular disease with climate change and air pollution ranked as the third most serious issue in relation to cardiovascular health among the respondents.”

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Coker commended all partners in the fight against Heart Diseases and the promotion of healthy lifestyles in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, in her remarks, the Wife of Lagos State governor, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said it was important that people desist from unhealthy lifestyles to build a healthy population which in turn would enhance productivity in the state.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Patience Ogunnubi, member, Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials, stated that the rise in cardiovascular disease statistics necessitated a comprehensive approach and strategy to make people aware of the serious threat that the disease posed.

She stated that people must embrace deliberate lifestyles and choices in order to combat the trend.

“If the heart is that important, it means that at one point we need to match the brake and examine how we live our lives so that we can perhaps live a happier and healthier life,” said Foluso Ogunwale, CEO, I-Fitness.

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