How Big Man Belle syndrome kills Naija big men in recession time

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Big Belle as seen in this picture with late Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha (M) a former Governor of Bayelsa State in Southern Nigeria is rampant with Rich Men in Nigeria and Africa
Although we have so far discussed the affluence of some Nigerians as a major factor in their development of high blood pressure, we know that the socio-economic status of the individual hardly remains the same.  The question then is “what happens when the socio-economic conditions of the affluent changes”?  For any particular individual, a number of changes frequently occur in his or her socio-economic status.  Such changes may be upward or downward in economic fortune.  Either way, changes often have a great deal of impact on the individual’s state of mind, pattern of living and consequent development or course of an existing high blood pressure.
Nigeria's Richest Business Man, Chief Mike Adenuga has a big belle
 It is therefore relevant for us to examine such changes in the life of middle class Nigerians and how high blood pressure should be managed under such circumstances.  Generally, any changes in an individual’s economic fortune either way may have significant negative implications for development and course of high blood pressure.  This means therefore that any period of changes in the individual’s economic fortune is a period when particular care should be taken to prevent, monitor for or control an existing condition of high blood pressure.
Mr. Oluwabunmi Adedayo, A Nigerian Entrepreneur also died of High Blood Pressure due to Obesity


How Big Man Bele leads to death in the era of boom
Treating a Heart Patient

When someone experiences significant favorable economic fortunes, such as a promotion on the job or increased prosperity in business, this is obviously time for happiness and celebration.  The way people normally celebrate in our culture, and in most cultures for that matter, is to eat more and drink more; that is ‘enjoy the fruit of your achievement’, so to say.  If it is a promotion, even after the celebration of the occasion, the advancement is usually accompanied by extra money to spend and prestige to wallow in.  That means that the individual can afford to eat more, drink more and receive more attention socially.  For the Nigerian, more good life has arrived, which has to be lived!

This is when most people start to eat more of the expensive foods they could not previously afford on a regular basis.  That often means eating more of such foods as eggs, chicken, goat and other meat items more often.  It is therefore time to grow or further enhance the big man belle!  As we have already noted, more weight means better changes of developing hypertension. If the person has already been hypertensive, the condition can get worse drastically.  When things are going well people tend to take life easy, such as neglecting going for check up and conveniently forget to take medicines, especially with conditions like high blood pressure which do not cause pain or any symptom.
Mr. Kunle Onigbanjo....A Lagos business man died of heart related disease recently

For most Nigerian men, periods of more prosperity are often time to acquire new wives or concubines with the attendant economic and psychological stress. The number of relatives who look forward to you for help tends to multiply.  Not only that the individual has better chances of putting on more weight, which increases his or her chances of developing hypertension, if none is already present, more anxiety is imposed by the increased number of dependants.  The combination of more weight and increased anxiety actually increased the otherwise lucky person’s chances for more problems from high blood pressure to stroke.  So, the welcome achievement of a socio-economic bust can mean more health problem with hypertension.

 How  Big Man Belle leads to death in the era of doom
Late Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha, ex-Bayelsa State Governor in Southern Nigeria....Died of High Blood Pressure in 2015

That people experiencing economic prosperity often have more problem from high blood pressure, as explained above, does not necessarily mean that it is the opposite when they experience a condition of socio-economic downturn.  On the contrary, a person going through a hard economic condition may have a higher chance of serious problem from high blood pressure, especially if that person has already “made it”.  This applies more so to the average middle class Nigerian.  For example, if a senior civil servant is suddenly retired, as has become the norm in many parts of the country, the sudden down-turn in his/her socio-economic conditions invariably imposes immense sadness and uncertainty for the future.  This usually creates a high level of anxiety, which is bound to drive up the blood pressure. 
Chief Jimoh Ibrahim (M) Another Nigerian with Big Belle...

Even if that individual had not developed high blood pressure previously, he/she is very likely to develop it then.  If the person has been hypertensive, the condition is bound to get worse.  This is not only from the added anxiety but also because the person is most likely to neglect the self at such a time. That is the time when most people may get so depressed that nothing is of interest to them, including their own health.  It is not unusual to hear someone in that condition make such statements as: “This is the least of my worries now”.  “What is the use going to the doctor or taking medicines?”  “I don’t care any more!” And that is the time when the individual actually needs to be more particular; that is, see the doctor more often and take his/her medications more diligently.  However, most people in that condition would rather care less, especially about a condition like hypertension that does not cause them any pain. That is the time when efforts regarding high blood pressure may be viewed by the individual involved as unnecessary waste of time, energy and resources.  It is also a time when relatives and other loved ones have to show more concern in the monitor and management of the victim’s high blood pressure and other health conditions more closely.
The Heart

I recall that recently when a large number of teachers and other civil servants were suddenly retired from the public service of my state of origin, reports were rife of the many retirees who died suddenly or without obvious illness.  The tendency was for people to conclude that they were dying from hunger or the bad news of being out of work.  The fact is that most of such deaths could be due to aggravated hypertension or heart attack in those who were predisposed or had existing conditions.

(From the Book; “Early and Sudden Death; the Price of Affluence among Nigerians”; read “How High Blood Pressure won award of Silent Killer of the year” tomorrow in our next post on Asabeafrika)
 






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