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20 Heart Facts You Might Not Know

By Expert HERWriter
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What do you know about your heart?

You know it pushes blood through your entire body. You know you that it beats at a steady rate all day, and if it doesn’t you’re aware of that too. You know you need to be concerned about blood pressure and cholesterol. But what else is there to your heart?

1) The entire system of veins, capillaries, and arteries is about 60,000 miles long!
2) It beats about 100,000 times per day, according to pbs.org
3) You have about 6 quarts of blood in your body.

4) The female heart is about the size of your fist and weighs about 8 ounces.
5) It’s actually located more mid-line in your chest with a part of it leaning to the left.
6) Blood is about 80% water – this is why it’s so important to stay hydrated!!
7) There are four chambers to your heart with four valves that open and close during the beating process.
8) Before you were born (while in your mom’s belly) there is a hole that connects one side of your heart to the other to bypass the lungs. Once you are born, that hole should close up.
9) An electrocardiogram determines your rate and rhythm.
10) An echocardiogram looks for valve abnormalities.
11) Your heart beat is determined by an electrical impulse.
12) One in Five women has some sort of heart disease.
13) There is a One in Three chance that your first heart attack will be your last. 35% of heart attacks are fatal.
14) Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women – not breast cancer.
15) Your heart can grow – it’s called Cardiomyopathy – and it’s not a good sign.
16) The inner lining of your blood vessels is called the endothelium and it relaxes when you laugh. This helps lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.
17) A ‘broken heart’ can be a true thing. A bad or sad break-up leads to a flood of stress hormones that can temporarily stun and affect the heart.
18) Blood can not be manufactured – every 2 seconds, someone in the United States needs blood so please donate to the Red Cross today.
19) O positive is the most common blood type.
20) AB negative is the rarest blood type.

1) Topol EJ (ed). Cleveland Clinic Heart Book(2000) New York: Hyperion

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.