12 December 2017

Nigeria: Heart Failure - the Leading Cause of Death in New Mothers From Northern Nigeria?

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (a type of heart failure that occurs during the last month of pregnancy or up to five months after delivery in young women) was one of the issues discussed at the just concluded Heart Failure awareness event, supported by Novartis on the 24th of November, 2017. Consultant cardiologists from all over Nigeria and several representatives from media houses in the country were present to discuss heart failure, risk factors and its impact on the lives of patients and the economy.

Consultant Cardiologist, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Prof. Kamilu Karaye, disclosed shocking statistics which showed that young mothers or women in late pregnancy were constantly at risk of developing 'peripartum cardiomyopathy', which according to a study in the 1980's was said to be caused by native birth practices. He said that studies are still ongoing in an attempt to accurately diagnose the cause of this condition at the same time advising that constant visits to the hospital during antenatal care could greatly reduce the chance of this occurring.

He further described some risk factors that could increase a person's chance of developing the condition:

Predisposition: people who were born with certain conditions,

Diabetes mellitus,

High blood pressure,

High cholesterol,

Obesity etc.

Other cardiologists registered similar beliefs, suggesting that it is very important for every Nigerian to get checked by qualified medical personnel, avoiding the stress of living with drugs until the end of one's life.

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