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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 112-115

An autopsy review of sudden unexpected natural deaths at Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi, North Central, Nigeria


1 Department of Anatomical Pathology, College of Health Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria
2 Department of Histopathology, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (Formally: Anambra State University), Anambra State, Nigeria
3 Department of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria
4 Department of Morbid Anatomy, College of Health Sciences, Bingham University, Jos, Nigeria
5 Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi, Nigeria
6 Department of Ophthalmology, College of Health Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Joseph A Ngbea
Department of Anatomical Pathology, College of Health Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/atp.atp_6_17

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Objectives: In every population, the pattern of sudden unexpected natural deaths (SUNDs) is often associated with the epidemiologic profile of certain common killer diseases. The old narratives have been that infectious/communicable diseases are the most common reasons why people die in our locality. However, changing lifestyle, increasing literacy level, and urbanization in Nigeria must have impacted immensely on the causes of death. We, therefore, embarked on this study to determine the etiology and epidemiologic characteristics of SUND at Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi. Materials and Methods: A review of all cases of sudden unexpected deaths at Benue State University, Makurdi, Benue State, over a 5-year period, from March 2012 to February 2017. Results: A total of 125 medicolegal autopsies were performed over a 5-year period (2012–2017), 58 (46.4%) represented SUND. Thirty-five (60.3%) cases of SUND were due to cardiovascular disorders, comprising 26 males and 9 females with a male-to-female ratio of 2.9:1, while twenty-eight (80.0%) cases those who died from cardiovascular disorders were due to hypertensive heart disease. Twelve (20.7%) cases classified as SUND were due to central nervous system disorder, eight males and four females, having male-to-female ratio of 2:1. The remaining 11 (19.0%) cases of SUND were due to respiratory diseases comprising 9 males and 2 females with male-to-female ratio of 4.5:1. Conclusion: Cardiovascular, central nervous system, and respiratory disorders were the major causes of SUND. Systemic hypertension-related disorders constituted a large proportion, especially in the middle age group.


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