Know your heart and vascular system

May 16, 2008 by  

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Hello and welcome to Battling Heart and Stroke.

I deem it best that we get to know a little bit about our body and body organs before we move on to topics of battling heart diseases and stroke.

For today’s post, I’ve collected a few facts and trivia about the human heart and the vascular system. Some of these might not be news to you anymore. However, you might find some of these interesting and learn something new in the process. So please bear with me and read on.

The human adult heart

The human heart is slightly bigger than the size of your clenched fist and weighs between 7 and 15 ounces (about 200 to 425 grams). A man’s heart is usually slightly bigger than a woman’s heart of the same age [1, 2].

The heart consists almost exclusively of muscle tissue. The heart muscle tissue or myocardium is quite unique because it can be found nowhere else in our body except the heart.

The human heart beats about 75 to 80 times per minute, 100,000 times each day. It pumps about 2000 gallons (about 7600 liters) of blood every day. By the time a person reaches his or her 70th birthday, his or her heart would have beaten 2.5 billion times [3].

The human embryonic heart

The heart beat is one of the very first signs of life in a mother’s womb as seen by ultrasound. The embryonic heart starts beating about 3 weeks after fertilization. Initially, the embryonic heart beats at almost the same rate as that of the mother’s heart. The embryonic heart rate, however, increases as the embryo grows. The rate is highest (165 to 185 beats per minute) around the 9th week of pregnancy but slows down again on the 15th week. At full term, the baby’s heart beats about 145 beats per minute. Heart beat rates are said to be able to predict the gender of a fetus. However, there isn’t enough evidence to show that male and female fetuses have different heart rates [4].

The human vascular system

The human blood is 78 % water and accounts for 7% of our body weight. Blood is only just slightly thicker than water, with a density of about 1060 kg/m3 (pure water’s density is1000 kg/m3)
The human vascular system in its entirety (veins, arteries, and capillaries) is over 60,000 miles (96,000 kilometers) long. Twenty seconds is how long it takes for our blood to circulate through our entire body [1].


[1] St John`s Health Center, Heart Facts

[2] Texas Heart Institute, Heart Anatomy

[3] American Heart Association, Heart and Stroke Facts

[4], Embryonic heart rates compared in assisted and non-assisted pregnancies


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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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