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10 Interesting Heart Facts You May Have Not Known

10 Interesting Heart Facts You May Have Not Known

Feb. 22nd, 2022

The heart is the center of your circulatory system and keeps blood circulating throughout your body. Your heart is connected to your veins, arteries, atria, and ventricles. It removes carbon dioxide and waste while supplying oxygen to your body’s tissues and organs.

Here are 10 fun facts about the heart that you may have not known.

The average size of an adult heart is a fist

Your heart is about the size of your fist, and it is estimated that the average heart weighs 10-12 ounces in men and 8-10 ounces in women.1

The heart’s structure has 4 chambers that are surrounded by muscle and other tissue, and these chambers ensure that blood flows in the right direction. The top chambers are called the atria while the bottom are the ventricles. A wall of tissues divides the two sides.2

Your heart pumps an average of 2,000 gallons of blood a day

Each day, your heart contracts an average of 100,000 times and pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood a day. In the average human lifetime, the heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times.3

On average, the heart pumps 5-6 liters of blood when resting. When you exercise, your body may need 3-4 times its normal cardiac output. Your heart rate will naturally increase when exercising to pump more blood to your tissues and organs.4

Your heart can still beat even when it’s disconnected from your body

Your heart is always working and acts as your body’s natural pacemaker. Your brain sends signals to the heart to tell it to pump blood by using electrical impulses from the sinoatrial node. The sinoatrial node is located directly in the heart.

These impulses from the sinoatrial node travel from your left and right atrium to send the signals to your heart to pump blood. Yet even after your heart is disconnected from the body, your sinoatrial nodes still send the electric signals and your heart can continue to pump blood for 3-5 minutes until the cells run out of energy.5

There are methods use to preserve a heart for up to 4 hours during a heart transplant, which prevents it from using all of its energy.

Women’s hearts beat faster than men’s

Women and men structurally have different hearts that affect their heartbeats. A woman’s heart is 2/3 the size of a man’s, however this difference in mass doesn’t affect the overall heart size. To make up for the differences, a woman’s heart will beat an average of 78 beats per minute while a man’s is 78 beats per minute.6

One study found that although peak heartrate declines with age, women’s heartrate will decline more gradually. The results showed that women 40-89 years old can expect their heartrate to be 200 minus 67% of their age, while men can expect the formula to be 216 minus 93% of their age.7

The beating sound of your heart is caused by your valves

Whenever you go to the doctor, they will check your heartbeat by using a stethoscope. A healthy heartbeat go lub-dub, which is caused by the valves shutting on the blood inside of the heart.

The “lub” sound they hear happens when the mitral and tricuspid valves close, which help control blood flow. The second sound, the “dub,” occurs when the aortic and pulmonary valves close upon the blood squeezing out of the heart.8

You can actually have a broken heart

While most people use the phrase “I have a broken heart” as a way to describe how they feel, it is possible to have a condition called broken heart syndrome. Usually, broken heart syndrome is temporary and occurs due to stress, extreme emotions, physical injury, or surgery. The feeling of broken heart syndrome is similar to a heart attack and usually is mistaken for one, but one difference is that broken heart syndrome will leave no evidence of blocked arteries.9

The most common signs of broken heart syndrome are chest pain and shortness of breath. Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), or cardiogenic shock (when the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands), can also occur when someone has broken heart syndrome. This can make some cases of broken heart syndrome fatal if left untreated, and it’s important to have a doctor assess your heart health if you think you may have broken heart syndrome.10

Heart disease is the greatest health threat

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. It is estimated that 659,000 people in the United States die of heart disease each year, which is 1 in 4 deaths.11

Individuals at all ages are at risk of  developing heart disease, and it is mainly caused by plaque building up in the arteries. Risk factors for heart disease include eating an unhealthy diet, being overweight, physical inactivity, and high blood pressure.12

Men and women have different heart attack symptoms

There are studies that show men and women react differently to heart attacks. While chest tightening, sweat, and pain in the shoulder are all common side effects, men and women may have a different experience when it comes to a heart attack.

Some of the warning signs in men include chest pain that’s like a constant squeezing, dizziness, rapid heartbeats, indigestion, shortness of breath, and cold sweats. Symptoms in women include fatigue that lasts for days, sleep disturbances, jaw pain, and pressure in the chest.13

Newborn babies have the fastest heartbeats

Newborn babies have the fastest heartrate at 90 and 160 beats per minute. A normal resting heartrate in an adult is about 50 and 100 beats per minute.14

The reason that babies and children have a faster resting heartbeat is because their metabolisms are faster. As a child grows, their heartrate decreases, and they will have an adult’s resting heartrate by the time they are a teenager.15

A special sac surrounds the heart

There is a sac called the pericardium that surrounds the heart and holds it in place. There are two layers of the pericardium: the inner and outer layers, both of which protect the heart.16 The main role of the pericardium is to prevent the heart from rubbing against the other organs and protect it from infections.

When the pericardium becomes infected by bacteria or other viral infections, it can cause pericarditis. Symptoms of pericarditis include chest pain, difficulty breathing, and a rapid heartbeat. There is no specific way to prevent pericarditis, but following good hygiene habits and protecting yourself from illnesses such as the flu can help reduce your chances of pericarditis.17

Celebrate American Heart Month

February is known as American Heart Month. Take these facts about the heart and share them with your friends and family to help spread the word about heart health!

To learn more about Saber Healthcare and the services we offer, click here.

Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.


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  3. “Heart Basics.” Hoag. Accessed 16 February 2022. Link:,more%20than%202.5%20billion%20times.
  4. “Cardiac Output.” University of Michigan Health. Accessed 16 February 2022. Link:,when%20a%20person%20is%20resting.
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  12. “Know the Facts About Heart Disease.” National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Accessed 17 February 2022. Link:
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  14. “How To Tell If Your Newborn Has A Healthy Heart Rate?” Pediatric Healthcare of Northwest Houston P.A.. 30 November 2020. Accessed 17 February 2022. Link:
  15. “Fast Heart Rate.” University of Michigan, S. Mott’s Children’s Hospital: University of Michigan Health. 31 August 2020. Accessed 17 February 2022. Link:,a%20more%20serious%20health%20problem.
  16. “Heart Facts.” Net. 26 January 2022. Accessed 17 February 2022. Link:
  17. “Pericarditis.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Accessed 28 January 2022. Link:,and%20goes%20away%20without%20treatment.