The High Blood Pressure Situation according to the latest Nigerian news is alarming like the rest of the continent. 10% of the population have hypertension. Statistics available show that high blood pressure is on the rise in Nigeria and affects more of the urban folks than it does their rural counterparts. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hypertension affects about eight million Nigerians. This is about 10% of the population but most of those affected are in urban areas.
WHO attributes hypertension among Nigerians to high consumption of salt and fat, low consumption of fruits and vegetables and lack of physical activity.
A study conducted by the University of Benin in 2000 gives further proof of the observations above. This study was carried out among workers at the Okpella cement factory in the Edo State of Nigeria. The subjects for this study were aged between 20 and 59 and comprised of people carrying out varying activities at the factory. They included people performing physically exerting jobs such as loading as well as office administration staff.
The study established that 12% of the workers in this factory were hypertensive. Of this group, 43.5% were cigarette smokers. Moreover, it was observed that high blood pressure was more prevalent among the administration staff than it was among the rest of the workforce. People carrying out administrative duties (accountants and managers, etc) were also found to weigh heavier than the other workers. This group had the highest average weight (76.8 kgs) as compared to an average weight of 61.2 kgs among the loaders and also had the highest number of smokers.
Despite the dust and other particles that workers in the lower categories were exposed to, this study observes that the rigorous nature of their work made them remain physically fit and contributed to the lower high blood pressure rates among this group.
In another study conducted among civil servants in the city of Benin, Nigeria, it was established that blood pressure among the civil servants increased with improvement in socio-economic status. Civil servants in lower job groups had lower levels of blood pressure than those in the higher job cadres.
The Nigerian news story with 10% of the population afflicted with high blood pressure is not good news. But the good news is that we have a remedy.
Universal Remedy The benefits of physical activity cannot be stated enough. The body is like a machine and needs to be constantly active. The causes of high blood pressure are universal. Low consumption of fruits and vegetables with a higher intake of salt together with lack of exercise.