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Defining heart disease, part 8

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To keep you alive, your heart and cardio-vascular system continuously pump oxygen-rich blood to your entire body. Would you like to know some interesting, little-known facts about it?

The size of an adult’s or child’s heart is about the size of its fist. It grows at the same rate as the hand. An adult’s weighs only about 11 ounces.

In a fetus, the heart begins beating about four weeks after conception. From that point on, it doesn’t stop until death.

A fetal heart rate is around 150 beats a minute, making it twice as fast as adults. By the time it’s 12 weeks old, it pumps the equivalent of 60 pints of blood a day!

A newborn has about one cup of blood in circulation; an adult has four to five quarts. Your heart takes approximately one minute to pump blood to and from your lungs and to all your tissues.

The average adult heart beats 72-75 times a minute. That's 100,000 times a day, 3,600,000 times a year, and 2.5 billion times during a normal lifetime!

Your heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood 24/7, which equals approximately six quarts per minute. That’s 1.5 million barrels during a normal lifetime, enough to fill over 200 train tanker cars.

Blood travels through 60,000 miles of vessels (twice the earth’s circumference), reaching almost 75 trillion cells. Your corneas are the only body parts that do not receive any blood supply.

Your heart has its own electrical impulses. If separated from the body, it continues beating provided it has enough oxygen supply. Its power output ranges from one to five watts.

Each day, your heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles. Over a lifetime, that equals driving to the moon and back!

The “thump-thump” sound of your heartbeat comes from the opening and closing of its four valves. Over a lifetime, it does the most physical work of any other muscle. It pumps oxygenated blood through the aorta (largest artery) at approximately one mile per hour. However, by the time it reaches your capillaries, it’s moving about 43 inches every 60 seconds.

Aristotle believed blood vessels fed the heart emotional elements gleaned from nearby peripheral organs. Based on this, he concluded feelings and thought originated from that transfer. That’s how the term, “heartfelt,” began.

Heart trivia is fun to know. Use it often to stimulate your conversations.

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