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American Heart Month: 9 Fascinating Facts About the Heart

By Tim Callahan02 Feb 2022

February is American Heart Month and whether you are taking care of your patients’ hearts or want to focus on your own heart health, here are some fascinating facts about one of the body’s most important organs.

2,000 gallons: Each day, a heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood.

Modesty and the stethoscope: Before the invention of the stethoscope, clinicians put their ears directly onto a patient’s chest to listen to their heart. 

Heart disease: Heart disease kills one in four people in the United States, making it the leading cause of death. However, heart disease isn’t just a modern ailment. Evidence of the condition has been found in ancient Egyptian mummies. Regular exercise, healthy eating and stress reduction can help reduce risk for heart disease. 

Holidays: Heart attacks and heart issues peak around the holidays. This could be due to colder weather’s effect on the heart or the fact that many people tend to overindulge with rich foods and alcohol. If a person lives in a snowy climate, snow shoveling can cause cardiac events, as well. 

Emotions and the heart: Experiencing a painful life event like the death of a loved one can affect the heart. Though temporary, broken heart syndrome can produce effects similar to a heart attack or heart disease. It is thought that a change in stress hormones can cause symptoms for some people. 

Your gender affects your heart: Men’s hearts typically weigh 2 ounces more than women’s. And a woman’s heart beats slightly faster than a man’s. 

Space travel and long distance swimming can shrink the heart: This is because both activities reduce the effects of gravity on the heart. 

Stress: Like broken heart syndrome, the stress of Mondays can also induce heart attacks. 

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