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Communicable disease-related sudden death in the 21st century in Nigeria

Authors Akinwusi PO, Komolafe AO, Olayemi OO, Adeomi AA

Received 10 May 2013

Accepted for publication 2 July 2013

Published 7 October 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 125—132


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Patience Olayinka Akinwusi,1,2 Akinwumi Oluwole Komolafe,3 Olanrewaju Olayinka Olayemi,2 Adeleye Abiodun Adeomi4

1Department of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Osun State University, Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria; 2Department of Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria; 3Department of Morbid Anatomy, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria; 4Department of Community Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria

Background: Some cases of sudden death (SD) have been attributed to communicable diseases (CD) in middle- and low-income countries of the world even in this 21st century. CDs produce clinical symptoms and signs over several days before culminating in death. They are also amenable to treatment with antimicrobials if affected persons present early. We sought to find out the incidence of CD-related SD at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital (Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria) – a tertiary health facility in southwest Nigeria – and the prevailing associated factors.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of CD-related SD in adult patients aged 18 years and older that occurred from January 2003 to December 2011. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 16 was used for analysis of the generated data. Percentages and frequencies were calculated.
Results: There were 17 (39.6%) CD-related SDs out of the 48 cases of SD studied. CD-related SD also accounted for 2.4% of all adult medical admissions. The mean age of the patients was 37.6 ± 11.6 years, age range of 25–62 years, mode of 25 years, and median 34 years. The male-to-female ratio was 1.8:1. Typhoid sepsis was responsible for SD in 47.1% of patients, pulmonary tuberculosis in 17.7% of patients, and lobar pneumonia in 17.7% of patients. The most affected age group was the 20–29-year-old group (41.2%), while the unskilled occupational group was the most affected occupational group with 35.3% of them having SD. Most of the patients with acute bacterial infection died of multiple organ failure.
Conclusion: There is an urgent need to step up public health strategies to curtail infections in this environment, encourage better use of the existing health facilities by the people, and the government should strive hard to make health a top priority.

Keywords: infections, septic shock, typhoid sepsis, pulmonary tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, public health

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