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Cairo Ojougboh: Unveiling the silent threat called cardiovascular disease

Cairo Ojougboh: Unveiling the silent threat called cardiovascular disease
February 10
20:14 2024


The sudden demise of Dr Cairo Ojougboh, a prominent figure in Nigerian politics and a key member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has sent shockwaves through the nation. The former house of representatives member, who represented the Ika federal constituency in Delta state, met his end on Wednesday night while engrossed in the AFCON 2023 semi-final match between Nigeria and South Africa.

Despite no public knowledge of any ailment afflicting Ojougboh, it is essential to consider plausible health conditions that could have led to such a sudden and tragic end. Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks or strokes, often strike unexpectedly and could be potential culprits in scenarios like this. The stress and emotional intensity of a high-stakes football match may have acted as a trigger, exacerbating an underlying health issue.

The silent culprit


Cardiovascular diseases, often inconspicuous, pose a silent threat that can be exacerbated by external triggers. The intense emotions associated with watching a football match, especially a crucial one involving your country in the AFCON 2023 semi-final, may act as a catalyst, pushing an individual predisposed to cardiovascular issues towards a critical event.

The stress-heart connection

In high-stakes football matches, the stress-heart connection becomes pronounced. The emotional rollercoaster of excitement, tension, and disappointment can elevate stress levels significantly. For individuals with underlying cardiovascular conditions, this heightened stress becomes a potential trigger, leading to adverse cardiac events. Ojougboh’s case highlights how the stress induced by a pivotal moment in a game can impact cardiovascular health.


Similar scenarios: Stress and cardiovascular health

Drawing parallels between instances where stress played a role in cardiovascular events, including those triggered by football matches, emphasises the universal vulnerability to such scenarios. Whether it is a last-minute goal or a missed penalty kick, the emotional intensity of football can magnify stress levels, potentially impacting heart health. Acknowledging these shared experiences prompts a collective reflection on stress management strategies.

The role of lifestyle factors

Watching football, often a sedentary activity, can intertwine with poor lifestyle choices, further influencing cardiovascular health. Long hours spent in front of the television, coupled with unhealthy snacks and beverages, contribute to a lifestyle that may increase the risk of heart-related issues. Understanding how the act of watching football can be a part of these habits highlights the need for conscious lifestyle adjustments.


Preventive measures and regular health check-ups

The excitement of football matches can inadvertently lead to neglect of preventive measures. Regular health check-ups, crucial for identifying and managing cardiovascular risks, might take a back seat during intense sporting events. Emphasising the importance of maintaining health routines even during such occasions becomes essential, urging individuals to balance their passion for football with proactive health management.

Genetic predisposition: A silent factor

In the context of football watching, the link between genetic predisposition and aggravated cardiovascular risk becomes apparent. Family gatherings, common during football matches, might involve shared genetic traits that increase susceptibility to heart issues. Recognising this link prompts individuals to be mindful of their family history and take proactive steps to address genetic factors that may contribute to cardiovascular concerns.



Cairo Ojougboh’s tragic demise while watching a football match underscores the intricate connection between cardiovascular ailments and the emotional rollercoaster of sports. Understanding how stress, lifestyle factors, and genetic predisposition can be aggravated by football viewing provides valuable insights for individuals to navigate their passion for the game while prioritising their heart health. As we reflect on this unfortunate event, let us strive to strike a balance between enjoying the excitement of football and safeguarding our cardiovascular well-being.


Olatunji Bello writes from Lagos, Nigeria. He can be reached via 08054763483


Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.

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