32 Heart Facts

  1. The first implantable pacemaker was used in 1958. Arne Larsson, who received the pacemaker, lived longer than the surgeon who implanted it. Larsson died at 86 of a disease that was unrelated to his heart.
  2. The earliest known case of heart disease was identified in the remains of a 3,500-year-old Egyptian mummy.
  3. The youngest person to receive heart surgery was only a minute old. She had a heart defect that many babies don’t survive. Her surgery was successful, but she’ll eventually need a heart transplant.
  4. Laughing is good for your heart. It reduces stress and gives a boost to your immune system.
  5. If you were to stretch out your blood vessel system, it would extend over 60,000 miles.
  6. Heart cells stop dividing, which means heart cancer is extremely rare.
  7. A woman’s heart beats slightly faster than a man’s heart.
  8. The beating sound of your heart is caused by the valves of the heart opening and closing.
  9. Whales have the largest heart of any mammal.
  10. The heart can continue beating even when it’s disconnected from the body.
  11. Each day, your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood.
  12. There is such a thing as a broken heart. Symptoms are similar to a heart attack but the cause is usually stress and not heart disease.
  13. Your heart is about the size of your two hands clasped together.
  14. regular exercise is the single most important key to heart health.
  15. Your heart is a coordinated machine. The right side pumps blood into your lungs, while the left side pumps it back into your body.
  16. Celebrities who’ve had open heart surgery in recent years include David Letterman, Bill Clinton, Barbara Walters, Jeff Green and Shaun White.
  17. You control your heart health through diet, exercise and managing stress.
  18. Heart cancer is very rare, because heart cells stop dividing early in life.
  19. Every cell in the body gets blood from the heart, except for the corneas.
  20. A normal heart pumps approximately 4 tablespoons of blood with each beat.
  21. The 26.2-mile marathon can be now run in less than 2 hours, but runners of any speed have 45% lower risk of heart disease or stroke.
  22. Blood entering the heart is a purplish-blue because it does not contain oxygen. Blood exiting the heart is red because it contains oxygen.
  23. An ECG machine is used to measure electricity going through the heart and is used by doctors to examine your heart. 
  24. Study of the heart is known as cardiology.
  25. Blood pressure in the heart can squirt blood over 30 feet.
  26. When resting, it takes 6 seconds for blood to travel from your heart to your lungs and back again, 8 seconds to go to the brain and back, and 16 seconds to go to your toes and back.
  27. Your heart is located in your chest and is protected by your rib cage. 
  28. There are many types of heart disease, including: hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary heart disease (heart attack), and cerebrovascular disease (stroke).
  29. 1 in 3 US adults has high blood pressure, and men are about 30% less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year. 
  30. In the US, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups.
  31. A person who is about to have a heart attack may exhibit these symptoms: pain or discomfort (in chest, arms, shoulder, elbows, jaw, or back), shortness of breath, and nausea or vomiting.
  32. Heart attacks and strokes CAN be avoided. 80% of them are preventable by avoiding tobacco use, regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy diet, and regularly checking blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood lipids.


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