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Interesting Heart Facts

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Almost 2,000 Americans die of heart disease each day.

There is 1 death every 44 seconds in the United States caused by heart disease.

The heart is 5 inches long, 3.5 inches wide and 2.5 inches from front to back.

Your heart is roughly the size of your fist.

The heart has 3 layers. The smooth inside lining of the heart is called the endocardium. The middle layer of heart muscle is called the myocardium. The heart muscle is surrounded by a fluid filled sac called the pericardium.

The heart comes equipped with a natural pacemaker, called the Sinoatrial node (SA node). It is located in the Right Atrium. The heart also contains specialized fibers that conduct the electrical impulse from the SA node to the rest of the heart.

Any of the electrical tissue in the heart has the ability to be a pacemaker. However, the SA node generates an electric impulse faster than the other tissue so it is normally in control. If the SA node should fail, the other parts of the electrical system can take over, although usually at a slower rate.

The heart does not extract oxygen and other nutrients from the blood flowing inside it - it gets its blood from coronary arteries that eventually carry blood within the heart muscle.

When someone listens to your heart with a stethoscope the sound is often described as - lub-dub lub-dub. The 1st heart sound (lub) is caused by the acceleration and deceleration of blood and vibration of the heart at the time of the closure of the Tricuspid and Mitral Valves. The 2nd heart sound (dub) is caused by the same acceleration and deceleration of blood and vibrations at the time of closure of the Pulmonic and Aortic Valves.

The average heartbeat is 72 times per minute. In the course of one day it beats over 100,000 times. Over a period of one year the heart beats almost 38 million times, and by the time you are 70 years old, on average it has beat 2.5 billion times!

Everyone’s pulse (average heart rate per minute) changes as we age...

  • Newborn 130 bpm
  • 3 months 140 bpm
  • 6 months 130 bpm
  • 1 year 120 bpm
  • 2 years 115 bpm
  • 3 years 100 bpm
  • 4 years 100 bpm
  • 6 years 100 bpm
  • 8 years 90 bpm
  • 12 years 85 bpm
  • adult 60 –100 bpm

An average heart pumps 2.4 ounces of blood per heartbeat. An average heartbeat is 72 beats per minute. Therefore an average heart pumps 1.3 gallons per minute. In other words it pumps 1,900 gallons per day, almost 700,000 gallons per year, or 48 million gallons by the time someone is 70 years old.