Is your heart healthy? Know the facts
Thousands of people in the UK die from cardiovascular diseases every single year, so it’s important to know what makes a healthy heart and how to reduce the risk of disease.
To give you a nudge in the right direction, here are seven facts, about your heart and its health, which you should know.
Your heart is the size of your hands
Perhaps the most important muscle in your entire body, your heart is approximately the size of a fist (for children) or two hands clasped together (for adults). It is situated almost in the middle of the chest, but its position makes it lean towards the left hand side.
A healthy heart beats over 100,000 times a day
Your heart works harder than any other organ in the body. It beats over 100,000 times in just one day – that’s 35 million beats a year and 2.5 billion over the average lifetime.
Coronary heart disease is one of the UK’s biggest killer
It is estimated that 74,000 people die from coronary heart disease each year in the UK. That’s 200 people a day and 25,000 of them are under the age of 75 years. There are over 2 million people living with heart disease, so it’s essential that people do all they can to reduce the risk of developing the condition.
Men are more at risk than women
Of those people living with coronary heart disease, 1.4 million are men compared to just 900,000 women. Statistics also show that one in six men and one in 10 women will die from the disease.
Angina is the most common symptom
Many people use heart attack, angina and coronary heart disease as interchangeable words but they are all different. Angina and heart attack are two symptoms of CHD.
Angina is a type of chest pain caused by partially blocked arteries, while a heart attack occurs when those arteries become completely blocked.
Every seven minutes, someone dies of a heart attack in the UK
There are over 100,000 heart attacks in the UK each year, with someone dying from a heart attack every seven minutes. There are thought to be around 1.3 million people living in the UK who have had a heart attack – over half of them are thought to be under the age of 75 years.
Kicking the habit can reduce the risk of heart disease
Smoking increases the risk of developing CHD, with smokers 60% more likely to die from heart disease than non-smokers. Smoking can also cause the arteries to become furry (a condition known as atherosclerosis) and lead to coronary thrombosis, so kicking the habit can reduce the risk of developing heart disease.