About heart disease …
- Heart disease is the greatest health threat to both sexes (a greater danger than breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men).
- Lowering your blood pressure may decrease your risk of stroke and heart disease by about 50%.
- Bacteria that grows in your mouth and causes gum disease may double your risk for a heart attack. Regular brushing and flossing can sweeten your breath and improve your health.
- Each year, an estimated 785,000 Americans will have their first heart attack.
- 1 of every 3 deaths in the U.S. is caused by heart disease and stroke.
- A heart attack strikes someone about every 43 seconds.
- Walking 30 minutes a day can lower risk for heart attack and stroke.
- Every 39 seconds someone dies from heart disease or stroke.
- Just one year after you quit smoking, you’ll cut your risk of coronary heart disease by 50%.
- 80% of heart disease can be prevented.
(Source: American Heart Association)
About heart disease in women …
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. It accounts for 1 in every 4 female deaths.
- 64% of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.
- 23% of women die within 1 year of having a heart attack.
- One woman dies from heart disease every 60 seconds.
- Women have a 15% greater chance of having a heart attack on a Monday than any other day of the week.
- 90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for African-American and white women in the United States.
- A woman’s average heartbeat is faster than a man’s by almost 8 beats per minute.
- Studies have shown that women who drink 2 or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day have a higher risk of heart disease. Skip the soda and replace one sugary drink with water each day.
(Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cleveland Clinic, American Heart Association)
Hear From Real Patients
About your heart ...
- The average heart is the size of a fist in an adult.
- Your heart will beat about 115,000 times each day.
- Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day.
- An electrical system controls the rhythm of your heart. It’s called the cardiac conduction system.
- The heart can continue beating even when it’s disconnected from the body.
- The first open-heart surgery occurred in 1893. It was performed by Daniel Hale Williams, who was one of the few black cardiologists in the United States at the time.
- 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.
- 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.
- The earliest known case of heart disease was identified in the remains of a 3,500-year-old Egyptian mummy.
- The fairy fly, which is a kind of wasp, has the smallest heart of any living creature.
- The American pygmy shrew is the smallest mammal, but it has the fastest heartbeat at 1,200 beats per minute.
- Whales have the largest heart of any mammal.
- The giraffe has a lopsided heart, with their left ventricle being thicker than the right. This is because the left side has to get blood up the giraffe’s long neck to reach their brain.
- Most heart attacks happen on a Monday.
- Christmas day is the most common day of the year for heart attacks to happen.
- The human heart weighs less than 1 pound. However, a man’s heart, on average, is 2 ounces heavier than a woman’s heart.
- A woman’s heart beats slightly faster than a man’s heart.
- The beating sound of your heart is caused by the valves of the heart opening and closing.
- It’s possible to have a broken heart. It’s called broken heart syndrome and can have similar symptoms as a heart attack. The difference is that a heart attack is from heart disease and broken heart syndrome is caused by a rush of stress hormones from an emotional or physical stress event.
- Death from a broken heart, or broken heart syndrome, is possible but extremely rare.
- The iconic heart shape as a symbol of love is traditionally thought to come from the silphium plant, which was used as an ancient form of birth control.
- If you were to stretch out your blood vessel system, it would extend over 60,000 miles.
- Heart cells stop dividing, which means heart cancer is extremely rare.
- Laughing is good for your heart. It reduces stress and gives a boost to your immune system.
Your heart affects every part of your body. That also means that diet, lifestyle, and your emotional well-being can affect your heart. Emotional and physical health are both important for maintaining a healthy heart.