Ahead of the final match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and their counterparts from Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday in the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), the Nigerian Cardiac Society (NCS) has advised Nigerians to avoid getting overly excited during games and emotional events.
The society advised Nigerians to take breaks from such events if necessary.
The society gave the advice in a commiseration message jointly signed by its President, Prof. Augustine Odili, Secretary, Prof. Chizindu Alikor, and Publicity Secretary, Prof. Abiodun Akintunde.
It commiserated with the families of the deceased linked with the surge of emotions associated with the Nigeria-South Africa match.
It warned that sports and other emotional events can trigger arrhythmias, heart attacks, and strokes in those with underlying heart conditions.
“The society notes with utmost concern the several reported cases of sudden deaths among Nigerians both at home and abroad, directly or indirectly. We wish to commiserate with the immediate families of the deceased and the country at large and pray for the repose of the souls of the deceased.
“The reported deaths of at least four individuals occurring during the match leave much to be desired on the cardiovascular health of Nigerians,” the association said.
The society said that while it cannot authoritatively confirm the exact cause of death in these situations without prejudice, “it is a duty to call the attention of Nigerians to the very possibility that sudden death can often occur either in the presence or absence of risk factors.”
It explained that many of these risk factors are highly prevalent among Nigerians and are also poorly controlled.
The society advised people to take steps to manage conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and avoid smoking, eat healthily, exercise, and manage stress.
It called on those with heart disease to take medications as prescribed and follow their doctor’s advice, and avoid getting overly excited during games and take breaks as needed.