Facts About Heart

  1. A human heart is roughly the size of a large fist.
  2. The heart weighs between 9 and 12 ounces (250 and 350 grams).
  3. The heart beats about 100,000 times per day (about three billion beats in a lifetime).
  4. An adult heart beats about 60 to 80 times per minute.
  5. Newborns hearts beat faster than adult hearts, about 70 -190 beats per minute.
  6. The heart pumps about 6 quarts (5.7 litres) of blood throughout the body.
  7. The heart is located in the center of the chest, usually pointing slightly left.
  8. Your heart is located in your chest and is well protected by your rib cage.

27 Amazing Facts About Your Heart

  1. Every day, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles. In a lifetime, that is equivalent to driving to the moon and back.
  2. Because the heart has its own electrical impulse, it can continue to beat even when separated from the body, as long as it has an adequate supply of oxygen.
  3. The “thump-thump” of a heartbeat is the sound made by the four valves of the heart closing.
  4. The heart begins beating at four weeks after conception and does not stop until death.
  5. A woman’s heart typically beats faster than a man’s. The heart of an average man beats approximately 70 times a minute, whereas the average woman has a heart rate of 78 beats per minute.
  6. Grab a tennis ball and squeeze it tightly: that’s how hard the beating heart works to pump blood.
  7. During an average lifetime, the heart will pump nearly 1.5 million barrels of blood—enough to fill 200 train tank cars.
  8. French physician Rene Laennec (1781-1826) invented the stethoscope when he felt it was inappropriate to place his ear on his large-buxomed female patients’ chests.
  9. In 1903, physiologist Willem Einthoven (1860-1927) invented the electrocardiograph, which measures electric current in the heart.
  10. In 1929, German surgeon Werner Forssmann (1904-1979) examined the inside of his own heart by threading a catheter into his arm vein and pushing it 20 inches and into his heart, inventing cardiac catheterization, a now common procedure.
  11. On December 3, 1967, Dr. Christiaan Barnard (1922-2001) of South Africa transplanted a human heart into the body of Louis Washansky. Although the recipient lived only 18 days, it is considered the first successful heart transplant.
  12. “Atrium” is Latin for “entrance hall,” and “ventricle” is Latin for “little belly”.

More Fascinating Facts About Your Heart

Human Heart-Gross structure and Anatomy - Online Biology Notes

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Your Heart Beats Around 100,000 Times in a Year

In young adults, the heart beats between 70 (at rest) and 200 (heavy exercise) times per minute. In one year, the heart beats around 100,000 times. In 70 years, your heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times.

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Your Heart Pumps About 1.3 Gallons of Blood in One Minute

When at rest, the heart can pump approximately 1.3 gallons (5 quarts) of blood per minute. Blood circulates through the entire system of blood vessels in only 20 seconds. In a day, the heart pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood through thousands of miles of blood vessels.

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Your Heart Starts Beating Between 3 and 4 Weeks After Conception

The human heart starts to beat a few weeks after fertilization takes place. At 4 weeks, the heart beats between 105 and 120 times per minute.

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Couples’ Hearts Beat as One

A University of California at Davis study has shown that couples breath at the same rate and have synchronized heart beats. In the study, couples were connected to heart rate and respiration monitors as they went through several exercises without touching or speaking to each other. The couples’ heart and breathing rates tended to be synchronized, indicating that romantically involved couples are linked on a physiological level.

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Your Heart Can Still Beat Apart From Your Body

Unlike other muscles, heart contractions are not regulated by the brain. Electrical impulses generated by heart nodes cause your heart to beat. As long as it has enough energy and oxygen, your heart will continue to beat even outside of your body.

The human heart may continue to beat for up to a minute after removal from the body. However, the heart of an individual addicted to a drug, such as cocaine, can beat for a much longer period of time outside of the body. Cocaine causes the heart to work harder as it reduces blood flow to the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. This drug increases heart rate, heart size, and can cause heart muscle cells to beat erratically. As demonstrated in a video by American Medical Center MEDspiration, the heart of a 15-year cocaine addict beat for 25 minutes outside of his body.

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Heart Sounds Are Made by Heart Valves

The heart beats as a result of cardiac conduction, which is the generation of electrical impulses that cause the heart to contract. As the atria and ventricles contract, the closing of the heart valves produces the “lub-dupp” sounds.

A heart murmur is an abnormal sound caused by turbulent blood flow in the heart. The most common type of heart murmur is caused by problems with the mitral valve located between the left atrium and left ventricle. The abnormal sound is produced by the back flow of blood into the left atrium. Normal functioning valves prevent blood from flowing backward.

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Blood Type Is Linked to Heart Disease

Researchers have found that your blood type could put you at a higher risk of developing heart disease. According to a study published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, those with blood type AB have the highest risk for developing heart disease. Those with blood type B have the next highest risk, followed by type A. Those with blood type O have the lowest risk. The reasons for the link between blood type and heart disease are not fully understood; however, type AB blood has been linked to inflammation and type A to increased levels of a certain type of cholesterol.

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About 20% of Cardiac Output Goes to the Kidneys and 15% to the Brain

About 20% of blood flow goes to the kidneys. The kidneys filter toxins from the blood which are excreted in urine. They filter about 200 quarts of blood per day. Consistent blood flow to the brain is necessary for survival. If blood flow is interrupted, brain cells can die within a matter of minutes. The heart itself receives about 5% of cardiac output through the coronary arteries.

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A Low Cardiac Index Is Linked to Brain Aging

The amount of blood pumped by the heart is linked to brain aging. People who have a low cardiac index have a smaller brain volume than those with a high cardiac index. Cardiac index is the measure of the amount of blood that pumps from the heart in relation to a person’s body size. As we get older, our brain shrinks in size normally. According to a Boston University study, those with low cardiac indexes have almost two years more brain aging than those with high cardiac indexes.

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Slow Blood Flow Can Cause Heart Disease

Researchers from the University of Washington have uncovered more clues as to how heart arteries may become blocked over time. By studying blood vessel walls, it was discovered that blood cells move closer together when they are in areas where blood flow is swift. This clinging together of cells reduces the loss of fluid from blood vessels. The researchers noted that in areas where blood flow is slow, there tends to be more leakage from arteries. This leads to artery blocking cholesterol buildup in those areas.

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