Tuesday January 28, 2020

Nigeria Seeing Increasing Cases of Heart Disease

But a non profit is collaborating with the World Heart Federation to provide proper education and treatment for underprivileged patients

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Nigeria, Heart Disease, Awareness
FILE - Women with their children wait to see doctors at a clinic operated by Doctors without Borders in Bagega village in northeastern state of Zamfara, Nigeria, Aug. 14, 2013. VOA

Health experts say Nigeria is seeing increasing cases of heart disease. Low awareness, lack of adequate medical facilities and expertise are major factors worsening the situation in the country. But a non profit is collaborating with the World Heart Federation to provide proper education and treatment for underprivileged patients.

Participants chat at an awareness and fundraising event to mark World Heart Day in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

The program is organized by the non-profit, Global Development and Charity Support Foundation in collaboration with the World Heart Federation.

Head of the non profit, Samuel Asomugha says apart from educating locals on the early signs of heart disease, his organization is making funds available to treat patients.

Nigeria, Heart Disease, Awareness
Health experts say Nigeria is seeing increasing cases of heart disease. Pixabay

“When you have a healthy heart, then you can lead a healthy life, then a lot of these health and heart related mortalities can be avoided,” he said.

The non-profit targets about 1,000 patients for treatment.

A 2018 WHO country profile reveals cardiovascular diseases is the leading cause of deaths among non-communicable diseases in Nigeria with over 11 percent prevalence.

“Whichever heart disease you want to look at, whether it’s heart failure, whether it’s coronary artery disease, the incidence of patients who are coming forward to hospital is on the rise,” says cardiologist Dauda Balami.

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Congenital heart deformities in children are also on the rise.

Nnamdi Azubuike’s one-year-old child was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2015.

“We found out that he was not breathing very well, so we went to the hospital and after the analysis, then a doctor now told us that he’s having a hole in his heart,” said Azubuike.

Heart related conditions often require tertiary level care and sophisticated surgeries but Nigeria lacks medical facilities and the expertise needed.

Nigeria, Heart Disease, Awareness
Low awareness, lack of adequate medical facilities and expertise are major factors worsening the situation. Pixabay

Paediatrician and cardiologist Tolu Utele, admits the situation is serious.

“It is almost like a death sentence for children that are born with these heart defects, all we do in most places is to manage them until they die and many of them actually end up dying,” said Utele.

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As talks around heart issues continue in Nigeria, citizens, nonprofits and many with conditions hope things get better. (VOA)

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Children of Mothers With Diabetes Are Likely To Suffer From Heart Diseases, Says Study

The researchers also found higher rates for specific types of CVD children of mothers with diabetes

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Diabetes
Diabetes was categorised as pregestational (before pregnancy) or gestational (during pregnancy) and women with diabetic complications were identified in the Study. Pixabay

Children of mothers with diabetes have increased rates of early onset cardiovascular disease or CVD (conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels) from childhood up to the age of 40, the researchers have warned.

The increased rates were more pronounced among children of mothers with a history of CVD or diabetic complications, said the study published in the journal The BMJ.

“Our study provides evidence that children of mothers with diabetes, especially those with a history of CVD or with diabetic complications, had increased rates of early onset CVD throughout the early decades of life,” said study researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark.

If this association is shown to be causal, preventing, screening, and treating diabetes in women of childbearing age could be important not only for improving the health of the women but also for reducing long term risks of CVD in their offspring, the researchers added

The number of women diagnosed with diabetes before or during pregnancy has increased globally, and children of these women are more likely to have risk factors for future CVD, such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels. It is unclear, however, whether or to what extent exposure to diabetes in the womb increases the risk of developing CVD in offspring over a lifetime.

So an international team of researchers set out to evaluate associations between diabetes diagnosed before or during pregnancy and early onset CVD in children during their first four decades of life. They base their findings on national registry data for over 2.4 million children born without congenital heart disease in Denmark from 1977 to 2016.

Diabetes was categorised as pregestational (before pregnancy) or gestational (during pregnancy) and women with diabetic complications were identified.

Diabetes
Children of mothers with diabetes have increased rates of early onset cardiovascular disease or CVD (conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels) from childhood up to the age of 40, the researchers have warned. Pixabay

Other potentially influential factors, such as mother’s age, education, lifestyle and medical history were also taken into account. During up to 40 years of follow-up, children of mothers with diabetes had a 29 per cent increased overall rate of early onset CVD compared with children of mothers who did not have diabetes (cumulative risks: 17.8 per cent vs 13.1 per cent ).

The researchers also found higher rates for specific types of CVD children of mothers with diabetes, particularly heart failure (45 per cent), hypertensive disease (78 per cent), deep vein thrombosis (82 per cent), and pulmonary embolism (91 per cent).

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Increased rates were seen in each age group in childhood (before 20 years of age) and early adulthood (from 20 to 40 years of age), regardless of the type of diabetes they were exposed to (pregestational or gestational) and rates were similar for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the study said. (IANS)