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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-26

Cardiovascular diseases in Nigeria: What has happened in the past 20 years?

1 Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku Ozalla, Enugu; Department of Internal Medicine, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chuka Timothy Onyema
4 Aninwede Street, Ogui New Layout, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njc.njc_33_19

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Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a leading cause of death worldwide with an accelerated increase in CVD-related death in Nigeria and other low-income and middle-income countries. A review of the trend of presentation and management of CVDs in Nigeria over the past 20 years revealed a transition from high incidence of CVDs associated or resulting from poverty and malnutrition (such as rheumatic heart disease) initially to a fall in the prevalence of these poverty-related CVDs occurring subsequently at same time with a rising prevalence of other noncommunicable CVDs (such as hypertension and heart failure). Although some CVDs such as coronary heart disease and cardiomyopathies maintained a steady prevalence within the period in review, this trend was associated with changing availability of healthcare services in Nigeria, with better services and newer treatments becoming more available over time and increasing prevalence of CVD risk factors among Nigerians. Despite these, Nigeria is at a plateau now as a result of poor funding and support of the health sector. This has resulted in most health funding coming from donor agencies, religious bodies, philanthropists, and nongovernment organizations. For progress, there is a need for an increase focus in the health sector with increased funding and support from the government and all players. Increased awareness and education of the general population on the prevention and control of risk factors and training of health professionals on appropriate diagnosis and management of CVDs is advocated.

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