The heart is one of our most important organs, providing the nutrition required by all our other organs. But how much do you know about the heart?

Here are 50 facts about the heart:

  1. The Blue Whale's heart is the largest in the world weighing 1,500 pounds
  2. Your heart is about the size of your two hands clasped together
  3. A child's heart is approximately the same size as your fist
  4. Your heart beats 100,000 times a day
  5. Regular exercise is an important factor for heart health
  6. Heart disease is one of the heart's greatest health threat
  7. The sound of a heartbeat is the sound made by the four valves of the heart closing
  8. Each minute your heart pumps 1.5 gallons of blood around the body
  9. The right side of the heart pumps blood into your lungs, the left side pumps oxygenated blood around the body
  10. Heart cancer is very rare, because heart cells don't divide
  11. A woman’s average heartbeat is faster than a man’s by approximately 8 beats a minute
  12. Your heart pumps about 1 million barrels of blood during an average lifetime
  13. A kitchen faucet would need to be turned on all the way for at least 45 years to equal the  amount of blood pumped by the heart in an average lifetime
  14. Because the heart has its own electrical impulse, it can continue to beat even when separated from the body providing it has an adequate supply of oxygen
  15. A heartbeat can be detected by ultrasound approximately 6.5-7 weeks after conception
  16. The heart of an average man beats approximately 70 times a minute
  17. The heart of an average woman beats approximately 78 times a minute
  18.  75 trillion cells in the body receive blood from the heart, only the corneas receive no blood supply
  19. Research has indicated that owning a cat can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by more than a third
  20. Your heartbeat can change depending on the music you listen to
  21. Your left lung is narrower than your right lung to make room for your heart
  22. A study showed vegetarians were 32% less likely to be admitted to hospital or die from heart disease
  23. Eating dark chocolate reduces the risk of heart disease
  24. The heart is located just behind and slightly left of the breastbone
  25. The heart has the ability to beat over 3 billion times in a person’s lifetime
  26. The heart pumps out 2 ounces of blood at every heartbeat
  27. Dying of a broken heart can happen, a study in over 2000 heart attack survivors showed attacks were far more likely after the death of a family member or close friends than any other time
  28.  A study revealed coffee drinkers are less likely to be hospitalized or worried about heart rhythm disturbances
  29. It's a myth that sneezing stops the heart
  30. The fetal heart is approximately twice as fast as an adult’s, at about 150 beats per minute
  31.  Approximately 5% of blood supplies the heart, 15-20% goes to the brain and central        nervous system, and 22% goes to the kidneys
  32. Early Egyptians believed that the heart and other major organs had wills of their own and would move around inside the body
  33. The Greek Philosopher, Plato theorised that reasoning originated with the brain, but that passions originated in the ‘fiery’ heart
  34. The term ‘heartfelt’ originated from Aristotle’s philosophy that the heart collected sensory input from the peripheral organs through the blood vessels
  35. Prolonged lack of sleep can cause irregular jumping heartbeats also known as Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs)
  36. Some heavy snorers may have a condition called Obtrusive Sleep Apnea (OSA) which can negatively affect the heart
  37. Drug use, particularly cocaine, affects the heart’s electrical activity
  38. Galen of Pergamum, who was a prominent surgeon to Roman gladiators, discovered that arteries carry blood
  39. Atrium’ is latin for ‘entrance hall’ and ‘ventricle’ is latin for ‘little belly’
  40. Physician Erasistratus of Chios (304-250 B.C.) was the first person to discover that the heart functioned as a natural pump
  41. Squeezing a tennis ball tightly demonstrates how hard the heart has to work  to pump blood around the body
  42. In 1903, physiologist Willem Einthoven (1860-1927) invented the electrocardiograph, which measures the electric current which flows through the heart
  43. The walls of the heart’s left atrium are three times thicker than the right atrium
  44. The human heart is not ‘heart-shaped’, the heart of a cow is closer to the shape
  45. Specific to size, a normal aortic valve is >2cm2
  46. The first heart pacemakers plugged into a wall socket
  47. Every day, your heart creates enough energy to drive a truck for 20 miles
  48. Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death, globally
  49. On average, it takes about 45 seconds for blood to circulate from the heart, all around the body
  50. Emotional vitality is associated with a 28% reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

To learn more about the heart, cardiac arrest and defibrillators, explore our resource centre.

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