Dr Ojji Dike, a Consultant Cardiologist, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital says high blood pressure causes over 20 per cent of global deaths.
Dike said this at the Bi-annual health fitness programme organised by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federal (OSGF) on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, high blood pressure which is a cardiovascular disease is responsibility for a high number of deaths all over the world.
Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain or stroke.
Other heart conditions, such as those that affect heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, are also considered forms of heart disease.
He said apart from affecting the heart, cardiovascular diseases also affects the kidney and was a major cause of stroke in people because it could cut off blood supply to the body.
“Over 20 per cent in the world die of heart related diseases, 22 per cent deaths in Africa and in Nigeria in the eastern part over 40 per cent deaths are caused by it.
“Risk factors that can cause this disease is divided into modifiable and non-modifiable factors.
“The non-modifiable factors which include age, sex, race and family history are factors that cannot be changed by an individual but can only be managed.
“On the other hand, modifiable risk factors are those factors that could be controlled by individuals, they include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes.
“Physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, and excessive alcohol,’’ Dike said.
He therefore urged participants at the programme to get regular medical checkups, control their blood pressure, check cholesterol level and also control their blood sugar level.
The cardiologist also advised on regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, eating heart healthy diets and adequate rest adding that an average adults needed at least six hours sleep every day.
Mr Olusegun Adekunle, Permanent Secretary, General Services Offices, OSGF earlier in his remarks said people must recognise the need for regular exercises and checkups.
He called on all staff of the office to live a moderate lifestyle, eat healthy and make adequate use of the facilities provided by the office.
Adekunle decried the high percentage of people who neglect their bodies and allow unfortunate incidences to happen before they called for help.
Mrs Maria Rufa’i, Director, Human Resources Management, said the purpose of the programme titled `Health and Fitness’ was basically to sensitise staff of OSGF on the importance of staying healthy.
“Raise awareness on the usage of the theme for health benefits and stop the nonchalant attitude to matters of health.
“We have installed all the facilities even a clinic, all we need to do is to put them into good use and justify the money spent in installing them.”