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More young people in Ghana are getting strokes – Ghana Society of Cardiology 

The Ghana Society of Cardiology has issued a stark warning about the alarming increase in stroke cases among young people, attributing the trend to unhealthy lifestyle choices and sedentary habits. 

As the incidence of cardiovascular diseases continues to rise, the Society is intensifying its efforts to educate the public on the risks associated with poor lifestyle choices and the importance of regular physical activity.

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Speaking at the annual general scientific meeting held in Accra on February 22, 2024, Dr Francis Agyekum, Vice President of the Ghana Society of Cardiology, highlighted the concerning shift in demographics affected by cardiovascular diseases, particularly stroke. He noted that while such diseases were previously associated with older age groups in wealthier nations, Ghana is witnessing a troubling increase in cases among the productive age group.

“Our patients are younger if you compare that to the United States or the UK. My youngest patient that came with a heart attack was 27 years old,” Dr. Agyekum remarked, underlining the severity of the issue.

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According to Dr. Agyekum, lifestyle changes, particularly dietary habits, play a significant role in the rise of cardiovascular diseases. He emphasized the prevalence of processed and fast foods in modern diets, accompanied by a decline in the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, sedentary lifestyles characterized by minimal physical activity further exacerbate the risk of cardiovascular ailments.

“People are now eating more energy-dense meals, fast foods, cholesterol, excessive salt intake. People are eating less of fruits and vegetables. People are not exercising,” Dr. Agyekum lamented, highlighting the detrimental impact of these lifestyle factors.

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In response to these concerns, the Ghana Society of Cardiology is advocating for increased awareness of the risks associated with unhealthy lifestyles and the importance of regular check-ups for early detection of cardiovascular diseases. By empowering individuals to make healthier choices and prioritize physical activity, the Society aims to stem the tide of cardiovascular diseases and improve public health outcomes.

As the nation grapples with the growing burden of cardiovascular diseases, the call to action from the Ghana Society of Cardiology serves as a timely reminder of the urgent need for collective efforts to promote heart health and combat the underlying causes of stroke and other cardiovascular ailments.

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