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Cerebrovascular Accidents In Nigerians: A Study of 348 Patients

Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is one of the major causes of sudden death. In addition it has a high morbidity being responsible for many patients with incapacitating neurological deficit. Until recently there was scanty information on CVA in Africans, and some held that cerebrovascular disease (CVD) like coronary artery disease is rare in the African. Humphries (1957) for instance states that in 14 years work among natives of South, Central and West Africa, he saw few instances of CVD either due to hemorrhage or infarcation. It has since been shown that CVD is not uncommon in the Bantus in South and East Africa (LAURE and WOODS, 1958, STRONG et al., 1959, WALKER, 1963), and in the Senegalese in West Africa (COLLOMB et al., 1966). It is important to establish the pattern of CVD in the various African races and the difference, if any, from that described in the more developed countries. This paper describes our experience and findings in Nigerian patients seen at the University College Hospital, (UCH) Ibadan, between 1957 and 1968. The UCH is a 500-bed hospital of the University of Ibadan. It is situated in Ibadan, which has a population of 750,000 – the largest Negro city in the world. The majority of the inhabitants of Ibadan is formed by the Yorubas, who also constitute about 90 per cent of the patients seen in the hospital. The rest of the patients come from all parts of Nigeria.

Material and methods

In this paper, cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) refer to cerebral thrombosis, intracerebral hemorrhage and embolism as defined by the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness (1958).

Three hundred and forty-eight patients who suffered from CVA and were seen at the UCH, Ibadan from 1957 to 1968 form the basis of the study. Eighty per cent of the patients have been seen in the last 6 years (1962-1968). (In 1962, a Neurosurgical Unit was established at UCH., Ibadan followed by a Neurology Unit in 1964).

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Correspondence:

DR. B. O. OSUNTOKUN, M.B., B.S., M.R.C.P. (LOND.) Consultant Physician and Senior Lecturer in Neurology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology

PROFESSOR E. L. ODEKU, M.D. (HOWARD), D.A.B.N.S., F.A.C.S. Consultant Neurosurgeon and Professor of Surgery, Department of Surgery 

DR. R.B.A. ADELOYE, M.B., B.S. (LOND.), M.R.C.P. (EDIN.), F.R.C.S. Consultant Neurosurgeon and Lecturer, Department of Surgery