Nigerian Cardiac Society Warns Against Over-Excitement During AFCON Final Match

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As the Nigerian national team is set to face the host, Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire, in the final match of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan on Sunday, the Nigerian Cardiac Society on Saturday, cautioned Nigerians against getting overly excited during the final match and other games and emotional events.

This was as the Lagos State Ministry of Health has issued a health advisory to all residents ahead of Sunday’s final match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire.

The society in a statement issued in Ilorin, Kwara State, which was jointly signed by the National President, Professor Augustine Odili; Secretary-General, Professor Chizindu Alinkor and Publicity Secretary, Abiodun Akintunde commiserated with the families of those whose death was linked to the semi-final match played on Wednesday.

The society, however, 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 leaves much to be desired on the cardiovascular health of Nigerians,” the statement read.

The experts explained that many risk factors are prevalent among Nigerians and are also poorly controlled.

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They described sudden death as a natural, unexpected fatal event occurring within one hour from the onset of symptoms, in a healthy subject, or in one whose disease was not so severe to predict such an abrupt outcome.

“Sudden cardiac death can be defined as death resulting from abrupt loss of cardiac function with or without previous heart disease unexpected within one hour of onset of symptoms.

“About 50 percent of all deaths from heart diseases are sudden regardless of the aetiology.

“It has also been shown that 89 percent of all sudden cardiac deaths occur outside the hospital and less than 40 percent are witnessed,” they said.

The surgeons stated that the causes of sudden death are as varied as its presentation, including complications of hypertension, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, cardiomyopathies, valvular disorders and pulmonary thromboembolism among others.

Deji Elumoye

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