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High Blood Pressure-The Coach Killer

On the 7th of June, 2016, many Nigerians woke up to receive this shocking news “Stephen Keshi was dead”. The news of the death of the former NIgerian Football “Super Eagles” Captain and Coach was quite the stunner, coming just a few days after the a series of popular deaths such as the death of the popular Nollywood actress, Henrietta Kosoko and the legendary Muhammad Ali. Ex-Coach Stephen Keshi was said to have died in Benin City, Edo state from cardiac failure in the early hours of the day and prior to his death was as fit as a fiddle. Then just when we thought we had heard it all, we received yet another shocker, Shuaibu Amodu, another former coach of the Super Eagles, also died in Benin City. Following the circumstances surrounding Amodu’s death, one can also infer that he died from a heart attack. As is expected in an African society, several speculations have begun to arise, especially considering the very similar circumstances of the death of the two Nigerian Coaches and the popular conclusion is that the the witches of Edo State have a thing for the heart or what do you think?

From reliable research, I have come to a sad realization that one of the most common causes of death in Nigeria and all around the world is High Blood Pressure. Hypertension has killed and continues to kill a many Nigerians by the day. Interestingly, it is not often the high blood pressure in itself that takes these precious lives; it is the lethal conditions that often arise from it: Cardiac arrest, Heart attack, Stroke, Ischaemia etc. I have purposely mentioned Cardiac arrest and Heart attack differently, however, most people tend to wrongly infer that the two diseases are the same when as a matter of fact, they are not!

The term “heart attack” is often mistakenly used to describe cardiac arrest. While a heart attack (or myocardial infarction) may cause cardiac arrest and sudden death, the terms don’t mean the same thing. Heart attacks are caused by a blockage that stops blood flow to the heart and leads to death of heart muscle tissue due to the loss of blood supply. Heart attach may  not necessarily result in the death of the victim. While Cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions leading to an abrupt loss of heart function in a person who may or may not have diagnosed heart disease. Cardiac arrest may be caused by almost any known heart condition and the time and mode of death are unexpected but death occurs instantly or shortly after symptoms appear.

Commonly, cardiac arrests often result from Heart attacks and in fact, the first six months after a heart attack is a particularly high-risk period for sudden cardiac arrest. Other things can also cause cardiac arrest, indiscriminate drug use (both recreational and prescription), shock, coronary artery disease etc.

Some reports say Shuaibu Amodu checked his blood pressure a night before his death and his physician got it to be around 140/100 mmHg and he was then advised to continue to be on medication and avoid fasting for a while.

Conclusively, I ask you dear reader; when was the last time you checked your blood pressure? Do you follow good heart practices? I would hope from now on you would pay more attention to these things. We wouldn’t want these Coach Killers knocking on your door anytime soon. Read more about hypertension prevention and treatment here

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