Ahead of World Hypertension Day 2018, distinguished consultant cardiologist, Professor Ayodele Omotoso, has alerted on the increasing prevalence of hypertension (high blood pressure) in the country, warning that hypertension is now the number-one risk factor for death globally.
Speaking at the 4th Novartis International Cardiovascular Summit held recently in Lagos at the Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, Prof. Omotoso alerted that hypertension is now ahead of tobacco, high cholesterol, unhealthy weight, unsafe sex and other conditions as a risk factor for global mortality, adding that recent research has shown the disease is now a leading risk factor for poor health.
While also noting that hypertension is on the rise in both rural and urban areas of Nigeria among men and women, Prof. Omotoso said current treatment guidelines for the condition have now identified combination therapy as a requirement for majority of patients to reach the appropriate blood pressure goal.
He disclosed further that, according to the guidelines, mono-therapy only allows a limited number of hypertension patients to achieve set targets of blood pressure, adding that in the majority of patients, the use of more than one drug agent is necessary to achieve results.
Prof. Omotosho stated further that while hypertension has continued to be a major public health problem whose prevalence is increasing worldwide, the treatment of the condition has been a major medical success of the past half-century.
He, however, identified financial constraints, doubts over treatment benefits, unique patient characteristics, unwelcome side-effects or drug tolerability issues, need for more than one agent or complex treatment regimes, as well as a lack of understanding of instructions provided by physicians, as reasons for non-compliance of hypertension patients to treatment.