The Nigerian Cardiac Society has said that one out of every three adults in Nigeria has high blood pressure.
Dr Okechukwu Ogah, the President of the association, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Friday.
According to him, the rising prevalence of high blood pressure is mainly caused by an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle.
“At the just concluded 47th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nigerian Cardiac Society, it was noted with great concern that the frequency of heart disease in Nigeria is not only high but rising.
“The increase in heart disease may not be unconnected to the current lifestyle that favours physical inactivity and consumption of unhealthy diets, rich in dietary salt.
Ogah, a consultant cardiologist at the Department of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, said that more people were presenting to hospitals with cases of heart attack like never before.
Ogah said that making the right choices would not only keep people healthy immediately, but also prevent premature deaths from stroke and heart diseases.
“Exercise can be easy and fun especially when it is built into the daily routine.
“Involving the whole family creates group support and quality time with loved ones.
“Aerobic exercises such as brisk walking, gardening, jogging, dancing, engaging in house-chores such as sweeping, swimming, washing your car for 30 -45minutes three times a week will be just fine.
“A healthy diet is one that contains all the food nutrients in the right proportion.“
The medical practitioner also advised people to eat moderate sized meal portions, reduce intake of salt to less than a teaspoon per day.
He also called on them to limit consumption of fatty foods and processed foods, including soda and to increase intake of fresh fruits, adding that vegetables are invaluable in maintaining heart health.