About 9.5 per cent of all deaths at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) were as a result of sudden death, according to a study conducted at the institution from 2010 2016.
Dr Francis Faduyile, a consultant anatomist and pathologist at LASUTH, who disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos, said that the figure was for those Brought In Dead (BID).
Faduyile, who spoke on the side lines of the 33rd Annual General Assembly and Awards 2017 of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), said hypertension was the major cause of sudden death.
Faduyile said: “This is a high percentage; it is about one out of 10 and represents 9.5 per cent of all deaths received over a six year period in LASUTH, Ikeja.
“This study goes to show that sudden death is very common in Nigeria and there is an urgent need to curb it.
“The males are more affected than females with a ratio of between 1.3 and 1.8:1; it also peaks at the fifth and sixth decades of life.’’
“Statistics have also shown that hypertension is the main cause of all these sudden deaths, accounting for about 44 per cent of all Brought In Dead (BIDs) in LASUTH.
“Though it is also found in people as young as 14 years of age, the fifth and sixth decades of life are the commonest age group of death among the male and female gender respectively.”
He added that the other causes were cardiovascular causes, respiratory causes and others.
“However, it is important for us to emphasis on sudden deaths because it is common and as the name implies, it happens without notice,’’ he said.
Faduyile described sudden death as an unexpected death from natural causes such as heart attack, brain haemorrhage and cot deaths.
“ Sudden death also includes deaths from suicide, homicide, war, terrorism, crashes, falls, drowning and fire disasters.
“It can also be from serious illnesses that are known, though death is not expected from an illness such as epilepsy, “ Faduyile said.
He said there was need for people to be aware of other causes such as cardiovascular causes, which can be as result of thrombosis, gastrointestinal disease and in some cases, diarrhoea and vomiting.
“ Asphyxia and gastrointestinal causes can also lead to sudden deaths.’’
He advised people to check their blood pressure regularly and advised those who were hypertensive to take their drugs regularly.
“Those who believe they are living well and are not hypertensive must have their Blood Pressure (BP) checked regularly, this is very important.
“If not, it may lead to stroke or cause the heart to stop suddenly of which we call heart attack; it can happen to anyone irrespective of the age.
“So, there is need to be careful about one’s health because prevention is better than cure,” the associate professor said.
He encouraged people to keep a healthy lifestyle, do regular exercises, have regular blood pressure checks, eat healthy and regularly and avoid sedentary lifestyle.
“People should guard against obesity as well as maintain good personal and environmental hygiene; for pregnant women, there should be improved ante-natal and maternal care,’’ Faduyile said.