Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. In fact, according to the CDC, heart disease claims nearly two lives every minute on average.
At Phoenix Heart, PLLC, our team helps patients in Glendale, Goodyear, Scottsdale, Anthem, Avondale, and Black Canyon City, Arizona, maintain optimal heart health at every age with tests and treatments tailored to their needs.
In honor of American Heart Month, our team presents these three fun facts about your heart to help you appreciate the amazing role it plays in your health and wellness.
Your heart is the main “pumping station” for your body, delivering nutrients and oxygen-rich blood to all your organs and tissues. Every time your heart beats, it contracts or “squeezes,” sending fresh blood from your lungs to every other part of your body.
Every organ needs a steady supply of blood to maintain normal function, and your heart needs to pump 24/7 to meet those demands. Over the course of an average day, that means your heart contracts — beats — more than 100,000 times to keep your blood moving. That’s roughly 4200 times per hour.
An average adult’s body contains somewhere between 1.2-1.5 gallons of blood. Throughout the course of a day, your heart circulates and recirculates your blood for a grand total of about 2,000 gallons over 24 hours.
Of course, your blood also constantly renews and replenishes itself. And when your blood returns to your heart after circulating through the rest of your body, it picks up a fresh supply of oxygen from your lungs before making its way back through your arteries and veins.
Lots of people liken the heart’s pumping action to the squeezing of a fist, but it’s actually a lot more complex and coordinated than that. Your heart is composed of four chambers — the left and right ventricles and the left and right atria — and each has to contract in a specific order and rhythm to keep your blood moving the way it’s supposed to. To keep everything coordinated, your heart has its own electrical system called the cardiac conduction system.
Electrical signals are triggered at the sinus node, a group of special cells located in the upper right part of the heart. The sinus node is sometimes referred to as the heart’s pacemaker because of its unique function in initiating the electrical current within the heart.
The current travels from the sinus node to other parts of the conduction system, causing different parts of the heart to contract at specific times in sequence. It’s these signals that your doctor can pick up and trace with an electrocardiogram (EKG).
As part of this year’s American Heart Month, take some time to give your hardworking heart the care and attention it deserves. Schedule a cardiac exam to learn more about your heart’s health, as well as risk factors that could compromise its function.
To get started, book an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Phoenix Heart today.