Without any doubt, our heart is one the most important organs in the body. It sits at the center of the blood circulatory system and pumps blood to and fro the organs. And, it works around the clock, without any break. This means it must be framed with some really strong muscles. But, there’s more to your heart than that.
Let’s walk you through some amazing facts about your heart:
- Your heart beats 100,000 times annually
At rest, your heart beats 70 times, whereas, during times of heavy exercise, it beats 200 times a minute. This adds to 100,000 heartbeats in a year. So, in 70 years, your heart will beat plus 2.5 billion times.
- Your heart weights 11 ounces on average
A healthy heart has a weight of about 11 ounces and it pumps 2,000 gallons of blood in a day. This blood is carried through 60,000 miles of blood vessels in your body.
- 5-30 liters are pumped every minute
The volumes of blood that is pumped by your heart in a minute range between five to 30 liters.
- Your heart’s size
The average human’s size is equivalent to the size of his clenched fist.
- The first heart disease was found in a mummy
The earliest recorded case of heart disease was identified in the remains of an Egyptian mummy that was 3,500 years old.
- Monday is the most common day for heart attacks
The Healthline reports that Monday is the most common day for heart attacks. On the other hand, Christmas tends to be the most common day in a year for the incidence of a heart attack.
- A broken heart is possible
It is possible to have a broken heart. Such a condition is called broken heart syndrome and it has similar symptoms as a heart attack. The only difference is that a heart attack is from heart disease. On the flip side, the broken heart syndrome is a result of stress hormones from a physical or emotional event. Death from this heart syndrome is possible. However, it is rare.
- Women’s heart beats slightly faster than a men’s
Well, this fact does not need any elaboration. A woman’s heart beats about 78 times in a minute, whereas, a man’s heart beats 70 times in a minute. Besides, a human heart weighs less than a pound. But, on average, a man’s heart is 2 ounces heavier than a woman’s heart.
- You need to turn on a faucet for 45 years to produce lifetime blood
You need to turn on your kitchen faucet for 45 years if you want to replicate the amount of blood that is pumped in an average lifetime.
- Your heart does not make a sound
Technically, the heart does make a thump-thump sound. However, that sound is created by the opening and closing of the four heart valves.
- High blood pressure
Roughly 72 million people in the US suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure.
- Heart diseases kill the greatest number of people in the US
Heart disease is a serial killer, you can say. Here is a quick statistical break down of health concerns related to your heart:
- About 38% of the people who have a heart attack die due to it
- About 7.9 million Americans have survived a heart attack
- 2 million people experience heart attack per year
- 13 million US citizens have coronary artery disease
- More than 300,000 Americans die of sudden cardiac arrest in a year
Top these up with a stat that says that about 64% of women and 50% of men don’t show any symptoms of heart disease. Subsequently, they die of heart disease all of a sudden.
- Heart cancer
Heart cancer is rare. It develops pretty rarely with the Mayo Clinic only seeing one such case annually. The reason behind is that heart cells stop dividing early on, which slashes the odds of occurrence of cancer-causing mutations.
- Laughter is good for your heart
The old proverb that says that laughter is the best medicine is, in fact, very true. Laughing reduces your stress hormones, increases good cholesterol, and lessens inflammation in your arteries too. This effect of laughter lasts for at least 24 hours as per the American Heart Association.
- The heart continues to beat even after it is disconnected from the body
Your heart has its own electrical impulse. This is why it can continue to beat even when it is separated from the body, provided there is an adequate supply of oxygen present.
- The fetal heart rate is 150 beats per minute
The fetal heart starts to beat after four weeks of conception. It beats approximately twice as fast than an adult’s heart at 150 beats per minute. When the fetus turns 12 weeks old, its heart starts to beat about 60 pints of blood daily.
- The animal heart
Here are three fascinating heart facts concerning animals:
- Whales have the largest mammalian heart
- The fairy fly, which is a kind of wasp, has the smallest heart of all
- The American pygmy shrew is the smallest mammal. But, it has the fastest heartbeat at about 1,200 beats in a minute.
- The giraffe has a thick left ventricle, which makes its heart lopsided. This is crucial because the giraffe’s left heart side has to pump blood up the giraffe’s long neck to get to its brain
- Your fitness and age affects your heart rate
With age, your heart beats slower. This chart shows the beats per minutes (bpm) varying with age:
- Newborn (0 to 11 months)- 70 to 160 bpm
- One to four years- 80 to 120 bpm
- Five to nine years- 75 to 110 bpm
- Children 10 years and up and adults (non-athletes)- 60 to 100 bpm
- Adults (athletes)- 40 to 60 bpm
- Heart rates drop as you sleep
While you are asleep, it is common for your heart rate to drop below 60 beats per minute. Some people go on to have a heart rate of 40 beats per minutes while sleeping. This happens because our metabolism slows as we rest. Moreover, the parasympathetic nervous system slows your heart and relaxes you, which slows the heartbeat.
- Fitness influences the risk of heart disease
A person with low levels of fitness is at double the risk of heart disease in contrast with their physically active and fit counterparts. The American Health Association recommends 75 minutes of vigorous activity or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly.
- Excess sitting is linked with an increased heart disease
You might have heard that sitting is the new smoking. Extensive research shows that consistent sitting correlates to chronic health conditions including heart disease.
- Depression enhances the risk of a heart attack
Depression is, particularly, harmful for women in this case. Women that are aged under 55 and have a moderate to severe depression have twice the likelihood of suffering from a heart attack. They are also equally likely of dying of a heart disease or need an artery-opening procedure.
- Early Egyptians believed that your heart moved in your body
Early Egyptians thought that the heart and other major organs in the body had a will of their own. They also believed that the heart moved inside the body.