HOW Your Heart Matters

By David Sauro

Not only is the month of February associated with hearts because of Valentine’s Day, it also is designated as American Heart Month to advocate cardiovascular health and raise awareness about heart disease. It is an opportunity to focus our attention on ways to promote and maintain heart health.

Since 1963, American Heart Month has been celebrated as a way to educate Americans to join the battle against heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 650,000 people each year. That averages, one person dying every 37 seconds, in the US from cardiovascular disease. Also, one in three women is diagnosed with heart disease annually.

Some Interesting Heart Facts

1. The average heart is the size of a fist in an adult.
2. Your heart will beat about 115,000 times each day.
3. Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day.
4. An electrical system controls the rhythm of your heart. It’s called the cardiac conduction system.
5. The heart can continue beating even when it’s disconnected from the body.
6. 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.
7. Most heart attacks happen on a Monday. The theory is that the stress of starting a work week is the cause.
8. Christmas day is the most common day of the year for heart attacks to happen, again stress related.
9. The human heart weighs less than one pound. However, a man’s heart, on average, is two ounces heavier than a women’s heart.
10. A women’s heart beats slightly faster than a man’s heart.
11. The beating sound of your heart is caused by the valves of the heart opening and closing.
12. It is possible to have a broken heart. It’s called broken heart syndrome and can have similar symptoms as a heart attack.
13. If you were to stretch out your blood vessel system, it would extend over 60,000 miles.
14. Laughing is good for your heart. It reduces stress and gives a boost to your immune system.

Research proves that taking a little time each day to promote a healthy lifestyle can help improve your heart health. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, you have heard of them) many of the heart related deaths would have been prevented with proper care. Your heart affects every part of your body, and your emotional and physical health are both important for maintaining a healthy heart. Your health and happiness depend on it, one heartbeat at a time!

Originally published in The Barnstable Patriot 2/25/22