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Heart disease, 6 facts every Nigerian must know

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease refers to a range of conditions that affect the heart. Heart diseases are usually blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, congenital heart defects, stroke, hypertension etc.

The coronary heart disease is the most common form of heart disease. It is a disorder in the blood vessels of that heart that can trigger a heart attack. When the arteries are blocked, prevent nutrients and oxygen from getting to the heart, a heart attack occurs.

We compiled a list of facts you probably did not know about heart diseases.


A person with a first degree relative (parent or sibling) and a second degree relative (aunt or grandparent) who suffer(ed) from one heart disease or the other before the age of 60 is 10 times more likely to get a heart disease in his/her early life.


Alcohol and stress can increase the risk of getting a cardiovascular disease. Excessive drinking over a long period of time increases the blood pressure, which is one of the most important risk factors for getting a stroke or a heart attack. Heavy drinking also weakens the muscles of the heart making it difficult to pump blood.

 Heart attack

Sudden cardiac arrests and heart attacks are separate events, although often assumed to be the same. A heart attack occurs when the supply of blood to the heart muscle stops, and the muscle dies. A sudden cardiac arrest on the other hand occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood due to an electrical problem in the heart. A sudden cardiac arrest can occur at the same time with a heart attack.

Mouth hygiene

People with poor oral health are more likely to have clogged arteries (atherosclerosis). This is because bacteria in the gums and teeth can get to the bloodstream and affect the clotting of blood.

 Secondhand smoke

Secondhand or passive smoke increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 25%. Non-smokers have risk increase in getting a stroke if they live or stay around a smoker. Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to a heart attack.

Warning signs

Warning signs for heart disease include shortness of breath, nausea, chest pain, body pain, light-headedness, and sweat. It is important to see a doctor if the warning symptoms persist.

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