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Article about the heart: Healthy heart, happy life


Healthy heart, happy life

Cardiovascular diseases have high rates of morbidity, mortality, and disability, and are the leading causes of human death irrespective of age, race, and region. According to the World Heart Federation, one third of adults over the age of 25 suffer from cardiovascular diseases globally1. Every year over 17.5 million people die from cardiovascular diseases worldwide which contributes to 30 per cent of the annual death2. The prognosis of cardiovascular diseases has been greatly improved in recent years with the development of medical technologies leading to a decrease in the morbidity and mortality. However, the morbidity and mortality due to heart diseases in the developing countries is increasing mainly due to environmental factors and unhealthy living habits. A great deal of attention is required to lead a healthy lifestyle and create an unpolluted environment to benefit the life and health of our hearts.

Smoking cessation: Smoking is closely associated with various cardiovascular diseases including coronary heart disease and hypertension3. Compared with non-smokers, the risk of cardiovascular diseases for smokers increases 1.6 fold. A report from the Asia Pacific Cohort Studies Collaboration indicates that smokers are 27 per cent more likely to develop ischaemic heart disease, 9 per cent more likely for haemorrhagic stroke, 4.5 times more likely for hypertension, and 16 times more likely for hyperlipidaemia4. Studies suggest that the risk of myocardial infarction of non-smokers who live with smokers increases by 23 per cent5. Summary analysis shows that in a person who has no history of cardiovascular disease, smoking cessation reduced the mortality of cardiovascular disease by about 2-35 per cent, which is similar to the effect antihypertensive intervention. Cessation before the age of 40 years reduces the risk of death associated with continued smoking by about 90 per cent6. For those who have heart disease, smoking cessation can reduce the overall mortality by 12-35 per cent. This effect is significantly better than antihypertensive and lipid-lowering treatments7.

Diet: Diet is crucial in the development and prevention of cardiovascular disease and is one of the key factors that one can change for a healthy heart. Abnormal blood lipid levels have been shown to have a strong correlation with the risk of coronary heart disease8, and the abnormal blood lipid levels are directly related to the diet. A diet rich in saturated fats often causes high serum cholesterol levels. Unsaturated fats, like those found in fish, nuts, seeds and vegetables, are beneficial for heart. These sources of unsaturated fats contain essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6, which are beneficial to the heart and cannot be produced by the body.

Hypertension is another important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, which is partly attributed to a high sodium diet. The daily intake of salt should be less than 5g according to the recommendations of the WHO9.

The unhealthy diets including fast food increase the risk of hypercholesterolaemia, hypertension, and diabetes, which ultimately damage the heart. To keep a healthy heart, it is necessary to have a diet low in saturated fats and salt, but with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Exercise: Exercise can influence a variety of cardiovascular regulatory peptides, and can lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and delay the development of cardiovascular diseases10,11,12. Exercise can reduce body fat levels and improve insulin sensitivity13,14. Sticking to a long-term exercise regimen is an effective method to reduce CRP and both help prevent cardiovascular disease14,15. Milani and colleagues16 compared the effects of cardiovascular rehabilitation training for three months in 235 coronary heart disease patients with 42 patients with no rehabilitation therapy. The results showed that the body fat index, motility, and other cardiovascular risk factors were significantly improved in the rehabilitated group16.

Pollution Control: It is suggested that environmental pollution is a greater cause to congenital heart disease than genetic factors. The development of the foetus is also influenced by a polluted environment during pregnancy and can ultimately lead to congenital heart disease. Although the epidemiological evidence is limited and inconsistencies remain, recent studies have suggested that maternal exposure to air pollution may also play a role in causing congenital anomalies, particularly congenital heart diseases17,18.

The impact of pollution from the environment has been studied on 45 heart disease patients in an area of Helsinki, Finland19. Volunteers in the trial dramatically reduced the amount of blood flow into the heart after breathing polluted air for just two days. Though there was no pain associated with this change in heart function, it was a hallmark of heart disease progression. Epidemiological studies corroborate the elevated risk for cardiovascular events associated with the exposure to particle pollution (PM)2.5. PM2.5 has been associated with the increased risks of myocardial infarction, stroke, arrhythmia, and heart failure exacerbation within hours to days of exposure in susceptible individuals20.

In conclusion, cardiovascular diseases are a devastating set of diseases that are best combated by preventative measures including a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle. The government agencies and individuals around the world should work together to create societies that promote the pursuit of a healthy heart and happy life.

Heart Disease: It Can Happen at Any Age

On average, U.S. adults have hearts that are 7 years older than they should be. Watch this video to learn about “heart age.”

Other conditions and behaviors that affect your risk for heart disease include:

  • Obesity. Carrying extra weight puts stress on the heart. More than 1 in 3 Americans—and nearly 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 2 to 19—have obesity.5
  • Diabetes causes sugar to build up in the blood. This can damage blood vessels and nerves that help control the heart muscle. More than 1 in 10 people in the United States have diabetes. 6
  • Physical inactivity. Staying physically active helps keep the heart and blood vessels healthy. Only 1 in 4 adults meet the physical activity guidelines of getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week.7
  • Unhealthy eating patterns. Most Americans, including children, eat too much sodium (salt), which increases blood pressure.8 Replacing foods high in sodium with fresh fruits and vegetables can help lower blood pressure. Only about 1 in 10 adults get enough fruits and vegetables each day.9,10 A diet high in trans fat, saturated fat, and added sugar increases the risk factor for heart disease.

4 Ways to Take Control of Your Heart Health

You’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to your heart. Learn how to be heart-healthy at any age.

Don’t smoke. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, learn how to quit.

Manage conditions. Work with your health care team to manage conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This includes taking any medicines you have been prescribed. Learn more about preventing and managing high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Make heart-healthy eating changes. Eat food low in trans fat, saturated fat, added sugar, and sodium. Try to fill at least half your plate with vegetables and fruits, and aim for low sodium options. Learn more about how to reduce sodium.

Stay active. Get moving for at least 150 minutes per week.11 You can even break up the exercise into 10-minute blocks for a total of 30 minutes in a day. Learn more about how to get enough physical activity.

More Information


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

American Heart Association

Your Heart & Circulatory System (for Kids)

We see and hear about hearts everywhere. A long time ago, people even thought that their emotions came from their hearts, maybe because the heart beats faster when a person is scared or excited. Now we know that emotions come from the brain, and in this case, the brain tells the heart to speed up. So what’s the heart up to, then? How does it keep busy? What does it look like? Let’s find out.

The Heart Is a Muscle

Your heart is really a muscle. It’s located a little to the left of the middle of your chest, and it’s about the size of your fist. There are lots of muscles all over your body — in your arms, in your legs, in your back, even in your behind.

But the heart muscle is special because of what it does. The heart sends blood around your body. The blood provides your body with the oxygen and nutrients it needs. It also carries away waste.

Your heart is sort of like a pump, or two pumps in one. The right side of your heart receives blood from the body and pumps it to the lungs. The left side of the heart does the exact opposite: It receives blood from the lungs and pumps it out to the body.

How the Heart Beats

How does the heart beat? Before each beat, your heart fills with blood. Then its muscle contracts to squirt the blood along. When the heart contracts, it squeezes — try squeezing your hand into a fist. That’s sort of like what your heart does so it can squirt out the blood. Your heart does this all day and all night, all the time. The heart is one hard worker!

Page 1

Parts of the Heart

The heart is made up of four different blood-filled areas, and each of these areas is called a chamber. There are two chambers on each side of the heart. One chamber is on the top and one chamber is on the bottom. The two chambers on top are called the atria (say: AY-tree-uh). If you’re talking only about one, call it an atrium. The atria are the chambers that fill with the blood returning to the heart from the body and lungs. The heart has a left atrium and a right atrium.

The two chambers on the bottom are called the ventricles (say: VEN-trih-kulz). The heart has a left ventricle and a right ventricle. Their job is to squirt out the blood to the body and lungs. Running down the middle of the heart is a thick wall of muscle called the septum (say: SEP-tum). The septum’s job is to separate the left side and the right side of the heart.

The atria and ventricles work as a team — the atria fill with blood, then dump it into the ventricles. The ventricles then squeeze, pumping blood out of the heart. While the ventricles are squeezing, the atria refill and get ready for the next contraction. So when the blood gets pumped, how does it know which way to go?

Well, your blood relies on four special valves inside the heart. A valve lets something in and keeps it there by closing — think of walking through a door. The door shuts behind you and keeps you from going backward.

Two of the heart valves are the mitral (say: MY-trul) valve and the tricuspid (say: try-KUS-pid) valve. They let blood flow from the atria to the ventricles. The other two are called the aortic (say: ay-OR-tik) valve and pulmonary (say: PUL-muh-ner-ee) valve, and they’re in charge of controlling the flow as the blood leaves the heart. These valves all work to keep the blood flowing forward. They open up to let the blood move ahead, then they close quickly to keep the blood from flowing backward.

Page 2

How Blood Circulates

You probably guessed that the blood just doesn’t slosh around your body once it leaves the heart. It moves through many tubes called arteries and veins, which together are called blood vessels. These blood vessels are attached to the heart. The blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart are called arteries. The ones that carry blood back to the heart are called veins.

The movement of the blood through the heart and around the body is called circulation (say: sur-kyoo-LAY-shun), and your heart is really good at it — it takes less than 60 seconds to pump blood to every cell in your body.

Your body needs this steady supply of blood to keep it working right. Blood delivers oxygen to all the body’s cells. To stay alive, a person needs healthy, living cells. Without oxygen, these cells would die. If that oxygen-rich blood doesn’t circulate as it should, a person could die.

The left side of your heart sends that oxygen-rich blood out to the body. The body takes the oxygen out of the blood and uses it in your body’s cells. When the cells use the oxygen, they make carbon dioxide and other stuff that gets carried away by the blood. It’s like the blood delivers lunch to the cells and then has to pick up the trash!

The returning blood enters the right side of the heart. The right ventricle pumps the blood to the lungs for a little freshening up. In the lungs, carbon dioxide is removed from the blood and sent out of the body when we exhale. What’s next? An inhale, of course, and a fresh breath of oxygen that can enter the blood to start the process again. And remember, it all happens in about a minute!

Page 3

Listen to the Lub-Dub

When you go for a checkup, your doctor uses a stethoscope to listen carefully to your heart. A healthy heart makes a lub-dub sound with each beat. This sound comes from the valves shutting on the blood inside the heart.

The first sound (the lub) happens when the mitral and tricuspid valves close. The next sound (the dub) happens when the aortic and pulmonary valves close after the blood has been squeezed out of the heart. Next time you go to the doctor, ask if you can listen to the lub-dub, too.

Pretty Cool — It’s My Pulse!

Even though your heart is inside you, there is a cool way to know it’s working from the outside. It’s your pulse. You can find your pulse by lightly pressing on the skin anywhere there’s a large artery running just beneath your skin. Two good places to find it are on the side of your neck and the inside of your wrist, just below the thumb.

You’ll know that you’ve found your pulse when you can feel a small beat under your skin. Each beat is caused by the contraction (squeezing) of your heart. If you want to find out what your heart rate is, use a watch with a second hand and count how many beats you feel in 1 minute. When you are resting, you will probably feel between 70 and 100 beats per minute.

When you run around a lot, your body needs a lot more oxygen-filled blood. Your heart pumps faster to supply the oxygen-filled blood that your body needs. You may even feel your heart pounding in your chest. Try running in place or jumping rope for a few minutes and taking your pulse again — now how many beats do you count in 1 minute?

Keep Your Heart Happy

Most kids are born with a healthy heart and it’s important to keep yours in good shape. Here are some things that you can do to help keep your heart happy:

  • Remember that your heart is a muscle. If you want it to be strong, you need to exercise it. How do you do it? By being active in a way that gets you huffing and puffing, like jumping rope, dancing, or playing basketball. Try to be active every day for at least 30 minutes! An hour would be even better for your heart!
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods and avoid foods high in unhealthy fats, such as saturated fats and trans fats (reading food labels can help you figure out if your favorite snacks contain these unhealthy ingredients).
  • Try to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Avoid sugary soft drinks and fruit drinks.
  • Don’t smoke. It can damage the heart and blood vessels.

Your heart deserves to be loved for all the work it does. It started pumping blood before you were born and will continue pumping throughout your whole life.

Heart disease prevention: Strategies to keep your heart healthy

Strategies to prevent heart disease

You can prevent heart disease by following a heart-healthy lifestyle. Here are strategies to help you protect your heart.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Heart disease is a leading cause of death, but it’s not inevitable. While you can’t change some risk factors — such as family history, sex or age — there are plenty of ways you can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Get started with these seven tips for boosting your heart health:

1. Don’t smoke or use tobacco

One of the best things you can do for your heart is to stop smoking or using smokeless tobacco. Even if you’re not a smoker, be sure to avoid secondhand smoke.

Chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels. Cigarette smoke reduces the oxygen in your blood, which increases your blood pressure and heart rate because your heart has to work harder to supply enough oxygen to your body and brain.

There’s good news though. Your risk of heart disease starts to drop in as little as a day after quitting. After a year without cigarettes, your risk of heart disease drops to about half that of a smoker. No matter how long or how much you smoked, you’ll start reaping rewards as soon as you quit.

2. Get moving: Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of activity daily

Regular, daily physical activity can lower your risk of heart disease. Physical activity helps you control your weight and reduce your chances of developing other conditions that may put a strain on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

If you haven’t been active for a while, you may need to slowly work your way up to these goals, but in general, you should aim for at least:

  • 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking at a brisk pace
  • 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running
  • Two or more strength training sessions a week

Even shorter bouts of activity offer heart benefits, so if you can’t meet those guidelines, don’t give up. Just five minutes of moving can help, and activities such as gardening, housekeeping, taking the stairs and walking the dog all count toward your total. You don’t have to exercise strenuously to achieve benefits, but you can see bigger benefits by increasing the intensity, duration and frequency of your workouts.

3. Eat a heart-healthy diet

A healthy diet can help protect your heart, improve your blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. A heart-healthy eating plan includes:

  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Beans or other legumes
  • Lean meats and fish
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy foods
  • Whole grains
  • Healthy fats, such as olive oil

Two examples of heart-healthy food plans include the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan and the Mediterranean diet.

Limit intake of the following:

  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Processed carbohydrates
  • Alcohol
  • Saturated fat (found in red meat and full-fat dairy products) and trans fat (found in fried fast food, chips, baked goods)


Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight — especially around your middle — increases your risk of heart disease. Excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of developing heart disease — including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

One way to see if your weight is healthy is to calculate your body mass index (BMI), which uses your height and weight to determine whether you have a healthy or unhealthy percentage of body fat. A BMI of 25 or higher is considered overweight and is generally associated with higher cholesterol, higher blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Waist circumference also can be a useful tool to measure how much abdominal fat you have. Your risk of heart disease is higher if your waist measurement is greater than:

  • 40 inches (101.6 centimeters, or cm) for men
  • 35 inches (88.9 cm) for women

Even a small weight loss can be beneficial. Reducing your weight by just 3% to 5% can help decrease certain fats in your blood (triglycerides), lower your blood sugar (glucose) and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Losing even more helps lower your blood pressure and blood cholesterol level.

5. Get good quality sleep

A lack of sleep can do more than leave you yawning; it can harm your health. People who don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression.

Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Make sleep a priority in your life. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it by going to bed and waking up at the same times each day. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet, so it’s easier to sleep.

If you feel like you’ve been getting enough sleep but you’re still tired throughout the day, ask your doctor if you need to be evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that can increase your risk of heart disease. Signs of obstructive sleep apnea include loud snoring, stopping breathing for short times during sleep and waking up gasping for air. Treatments for obstructive sleep apnea may include losing weight if you’re overweight or using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device that keeps your airway open while you sleep.

6. Manage stress

Some people cope with stress in unhealthy ways — such as overeating, drinking or smoking. Finding alternative ways to manage stress — such as physical activity, relaxation exercises or meditation — can help improve your health.

7. Get regular health screenings

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your heart and blood vessels. But without testing for them, you probably won’t know whether you have these conditions. Regular screening can tell you what your numbers are and whether you need to take action.

  • Blood pressure. Regular blood pressure screenings usually start in childhood. Starting at age 18, your blood pressure should be measured at least once every two years to screen for high blood pressure as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

    If you’re between 18 and 39 and have risk factors for high blood pressure, you’ll likely be screened once a year. People age 40 and older also are given a blood pressure test annually.

  • Cholesterol levels. Adults generally have their cholesterol measured at least once every four to six years. Cholesterol screening usually starts at age 20, though earlier testing may be recommended if you have other risk factors, such as a family history of early-onset heart disease.
  • Type 2 diabetes screening. Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease. If you have risk factors for diabetes, such as being overweight or having a family history of diabetes, your doctor may recommend early screening. If your weight is normal and you don’t have other risk factors for type 2 diabetes, screening is recommended beginning at age 45, with retesting every three years.

If you have a condition such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, your doctor may prescribe medications and recommend lifestyle changes. Make sure to take your medications as your doctor prescribes and follow a healthy-lifestyle plan.

Oct. 26, 2019

Show references

  1. Gupta R, et al. Primary prevention of ischaemic heart disease: Populations, individuals, and health professionals. The Lancet. 2019; doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31893-8.
  2. Know the facts about heart disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm. Accessed Sept. 2, 2019.
  3. Hennekens CH. Overview of primary prevention of coronary heart disease and stroke. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 3, 2019.
  4. How to prevent heart disease at any age. American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/how-to-help-prevent-heart-disease-at-any-age. Accessed Sept. 2, 2019.
  5. Heart-healthy lifestyle changes. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/heart-healthy-lifestyle-changes. Accessed Sept. 2, 2019.
  6. Smokeless tobacco: Health effects. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/smokeless/health_effects/index.htm. Accessed Sept. 2, 2019.
  7. How smoking affects heart health. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/tobacco-products/health-information/how-smoking-affects-heart-health. Accessed Sept. 2, 2019.
  8. Benefits of quitting. American Lung Association. https://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/i-want-to-quit/benefits-of-quitting.html. Accessed Sept. 2, 2019.
  9. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. 2nd ed. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition. Accessed Sept. 2, 2019.
  10. How does sleep affect your heart health? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/features/sleep-heart-health/index.html. Accessed Sept. 2, 2019.
  11. What is sleep apnea? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-apnea. Accessed Sept. 2, 2019.
  12. AskMayoExpert. Screening, immunization, and prevention (child). Mayo Clinic; 2019.
  13. AskMayoExpert. Screening, immunization, and prevention (adult). Mayo Clinic; 2019.

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Cardiovascular diseases affect nearly half of American adults, statistics show

Nearly half of all U.S. adults have some type of cardiovascular disease, a percentage that reflects recently updated guidelines for treating high blood pressure, according to a new report. High blood pressure – also known as hypertension – can lead to heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

“We’re becoming more and more aware of the importance of high blood pressure. Levels we used to think were normal we now associate with worse outcomes, and treating them makes a big difference,” said Dr. Emelia J. Benjamin, a professor of cardiology at Boston University and chair of the group that wrote the American Heart Association’s “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2019 Update”.

The report, published Thursday in the AHA journal Circulation, has been released annually since 1958 and is based on data from the National Institutes of Health and other government sources. This year’s report said 121.5 million adults in the U.S. – 48 percent based on 2016 figures – have cardiovascular disease. Heart disease was the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. and stroke was No. 5, the same ranking as in the previous year.

The rise in cardiovascular disease is driven, in part, by changes in the way high blood pressure is defined. In November 2017, the AHA and American College of Cardiology updated the definition of high blood pressure as a reading of 130/80 millimeters of mercury, compared to the previous definition of 140/90.

“We’ve made some real progress, but I think it’s important that we don’t do a victory lap. We still have to make sure all Americans have access to quality care and we have to continue to focus on Life’s Simple 7,” Benjamin said, referring to AHA’s seven goals of eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, avoiding excess weight, not smoking, and keeping blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar within a healthy range.

The update said tobacco use remains a leading cause of preventable death, accounting for 7.1 million deaths worldwide in 2016. While the report notes a “consistent decline” in smoking in recent years, it said there was a sharp increase in adolescents using e-cigarettes, which are now the most-used tobacco product in that demographic.

“One of my great fears is that we’re addicting a whole new generation to nicotine with e-cigarettes,” Benjamin said. Past studies have shown nicotine can increase blood pressure and heart rate and cause narrowing of the arteries.

More Americans are becoming physically active, although the obesity epidemic is nowhere close to vanishing. According to the update, the prevalence of obesity was 39.6 percent of U.S. adults and 18.5 percent of youth, and severe obesity affected 7.7 percent of adults and 5.6 percent of youth. Obesity was associated with a shorter lifespan and a greater proportion of life lived with cardiovascular disease.

“The overall prevalence of severe obesity in youth didn’t increase, but it’s still very concerning,” Benjamin said. “It’s a deeply disturbing condition and we have to ask, ‘What can we do about this?'”

Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of cardiovascular medicine and science at the University of California, Los Angeles who was not involved in writing the report, said the update should serve as a wake-up call for more Americans to be tested for cardiovascular diseases – especially high blood pressure. High blood pressure is sometimes called the “silent killer” because it often lacks obvious symptoms.

“Many are not aware their blood pressure is elevated,” said Fonarow. “High blood pressure is a major modifiable risk factor for heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and premature cardiovascular death. Achieving and maintaining a healthy blood pressure level can markedly lower the risk of these cardiovascular events for men and women, young and old, and all race-ethnic backgrounds.”

Fonarow urged people with high blood pressure to treat it with lifestyle changes and, if needed, with blood pressure-lowering medication.

“This American Heart Association statistical update provides highly actionable data. The key question is whether clinicians and patients will actually act on it,” he said. “The nation’s future heart and brain health relies on that answer.”

View text version of infographic.

If you have questions or comments about this story, please email [email protected]

How to Manage and Prevent Heart Conditions


American College of Cardiology: “A healthy lifestyle may prevent heart disease in nearly three out of four women.”

American College of Sports Medicine: “Selecting and Effectively Using a Heart Rate Monitor.

American Family Physician: “Cholesterol Treatment Guidelines Update.”

American Heart Association: “About Cholesterol.”

American Heart Association: “About High Blood Pressure.”

American Heart Association: “Alcohol and Heart Health.”

American Heart Association: “All About Heart Rate (Pulse).”

American Heart Association: “American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults.”

American Heart Association: “The American Heart Association’s Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations.”

American Heart Association: “Aspirin and Heart Disease.”

American Heart Association: “Body Mass Index in Adults (BMI Calculator for Adults).”

American Heart Association: “Cholesterol Score.”

American Heart Association: “Choosing a Home Blood Pressure Monitor.”

American Heart Association: “Choosing a Restaurant.”

American Heart Association: “Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.”

American Heart Association: “Four Ways to Deal with Stress.

American Heart Association: “Four Weeks of Heart-Healthy Tips.”

American Heart Association: “Good vs. Bad Cholesterol.”

American Heart Association: “Heart and Stroke Encyclopedia.”

American Heart Association: “How High Blood Pressure is Diagnosed.”

American Heart Association: “How To Get Your Cholesterol Tested.”

American Heart Association: “Lifestyle Changes and Cholesterol.”

American Heart Association: “Managing Blood Pressure with a Heart-Healthy Diet.”

American Heart Association: “Ordering Your Meal.”

American Heart Association: “Physical Activity and Blood Pressure.”

American Heart Association: “Prevention & Treatment of High Blood Pressure.”

American Heart Association: “Roles of Your Four Heart Valves.”

American Heart Association: “Symptoms and Diagnosis of Heart Attack.”

American Heart Association: “Symptoms, Diagnosis & Monitoring of High Cholesterol.”

American Heart Association: “Symptoms of a Stroke.

American Heart Association: “Tobacco and Blood Pressure.”

American Heart Association: “Treatment of High Cholesterol.”

American Heart Association: “Understanding Blood Pressure Readings.”

American Heart Association: “Understand Your Risk of Heart Attack.” 

American Heart Association: “Vitamin and Mineral Supplements.”

American Heart Association: “Weight Management and Blood Pressure.”

American Heart Association: “What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure.”

American Heart Association: “What Do My Cholesterol Levels Mean?”

American Heart Association: “What is Cardiovascular Disease?”

American Heart Association: “What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean.”

American Heart Association: “Why Blood Pressure Matters.”

CDC: “Heart Disease Facts.”

CDC: “High Blood Pressure.”

CDC: “Healthy Weight – it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle!”

CDC: “2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report.”

CDC: “February is American Heart Month.

Cleveland Clinic: “20 Amazing Facts About Your Heart (Infographic).”

Cleveland Clinic: “Lipid Blood Tests.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Nutrition Strategies.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Treatments & Procedures.”

FDA: “Home Use Tests – Cholesterol.”

Harvard Health: “Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, In with the Good.”

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: “Your Guide To Lowering Your Blood Pressure With DASH.”

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: “Types of Physical Activity.”

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: “What’s a “standard” drink?”

Keeping Your Heart Healthy – familydoctor.org

A healthy heart is central to overall good health. Embracing a healthy lifestyle at any age can prevent heart disease and lower your risk for a heart attack or stroke. You are never too old or too young to begin taking care of your heart. True, the younger you begin making healthy choices, the longer you can reap the benefits. But swapping good habits for bad to promote good health can make a difference, even if you’ve already suffered a heart attack.

Choosing healthier foods and exercising are two of the best ways to contribute to good heart health. There are a number of additional things you can do to lower your risk for heart disease. Things that put you at higher risk for heart disease include:

  • Smoking.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Obesity/being overweight.
  • High cholesterol levels.
  • Inactivity (no exercise).
  • Family history of heart disease (especially a parent or sibling).

The good news is that it is possible to decrease your risk by making changes in the way you live your life. Even if you have a family history of heart disease, the power of prevention is on your side.

Path to improved health

You are in direct control over many things that can influence your heart health. It’s up to you to choose how seriously you take this responsibility. Some people find it easy to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Others will do so only after being diagnosed with a symptom of heart disease, like high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

Whatever your inspiration, know that the benefits of a healthy heart are worth the effort. In fact, your entire body will be better for it. Good overall health can also protect you from type 2 diabetes, asthma, joint pain, and a number of other chronic diseases and conditions. It can even reduce your risk for cancer. Additionally, a healthy lifestyle that includes eating healthy foods and getting regular exercise has been proven to boost your mood. You’ll have more energy and less stress.

If you aren’t sure where to begin, try to add just one healthy aspect to your life for now. As you feel that you are gaining control, try adding another, then another. Pretty soon, you’ll feel empowered instead of overwhelmed.

Make healthy food choices

Balance is the key to eating healthy for the long haul. Your diet should consist mainly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and lean proteins. If you eat this way most of the time, you’ll be able to indulge occasionally.

Allowing yourself to eat something you crave from time to time is important. So do not feel guilty about treating yourself as a reward for eating healthy. Just make sure that you aren’t treating yourself too often.

As you choose your vegetables, keep color in mind. A colorful plate with plenty of red, orange, yellow, and dark-green vegetables helps ensure you are getting the vitamins and minerals you need.

Try to cut down on or even eliminate heavily processed foods. Heavily processed foods are the boxed and packaged foods, especially those that are ready to eat (think crackers, potato chips, and even drive-through foods). Also, look for foods low in sodium.

Swap soda and energy drinks for water. There is an incredible amount of sugar in soda and energy drinks. Drinking water in place of these can significantly impact your health for the better. Aim for drinking at least 8, 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

Watch your weight

Being obese or overweight is not healthy. The more weight you gain, the higher your body mass index (BMI). Your BMI is a measure of your body fat based on your height and weight. The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar levels. Being obese also puts you at risk for breathing problems, gallbladder disease, liver disease, and even cancer.

Making healthy food choices in combination with an exercise program is the best way to lose weight. Even a small amount of weight loss can make a big difference in your health. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), losing just 5% to 10% of your body weight can reduce your risk for having a heart attack or stroke.

Be active

You don’t have to be a member of a gym or buy fancy equipment to exercise. The key is just to get up and move. Go for a walk. Take the stairs at work. Do some push-ups or sit-ups. Dance. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity for adults each week. Children should get at least an hour of activity every day.

Aerobic exercise has a direct effect on your heart. Your heart is a muscle and exercise strengthens it. A strong heart can more efficiently pump blood to deliver oxygen and nutrients to other parts of your body. Exercise can lower your risk for developing plaque in your arteries. Plaque is a waxy substance that can clog arteries and reduce blood flow to your heart. If plaque builds up too much, it can even block the artery. This is what causes a heart attack.

Know your numbers

Every adult should know his or her blood pressure and cholesterol level. Beginning at age 18, you should have your blood pressure checked at least every 3 to 5 years. There are often no symptoms associated with high blood pressure. The best way to know for sure is to check.

Young adults who are age 20 and older and who smoke or have a family history of heart disease should have regular cholesterol screenings. Otherwise, women should begin having regular cholesterol checks when they are 45. Men should begin them at age 35. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you should also be screened for diabetes.

Stop smoking

No new news here. Smoking is bad for you. It causes cancer. It damages your lungs. It’s also terrible for your heart. Smoking increases your risk for heart disease. It damages the lining of your arteries. There are numerous studies that provide evidence that smoking cigarettes is a major cause of coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attacks.

If you currently smoke, it’s a great time to stop. There are medicines that can help, as well as other “quit smoking” tools such as nicotine gum and patches. Vaping is not a tool to help you quit, so don’t trade smoking for vaping. Ask your doctor to recommend a resource. Try to steer clear of secondhand smoke, as well.

Don’t take gums for granted

Many people don’t know that there is a link between oral health and heart disease. In fact, periodontal disease (gum disease) has been associated with a number of health issues, including premature birth, arthritis, and diabetes.

It is not clear whether heart disease causes gum disease or vice versa. Some medical professionals believe the bacteria that cause gum disease spread from the mouth through the body. As they spread, they make inflammation worse. This increased inflammation can trigger or worsen inflammatory conditions like heart disease. Preventing gum disease can help with your overall health. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups are the best way to keep oral health in check.

If you already have gum disease, you should schedule regular cleanings with a periodontist (a dentist who specializes in gum disease and oral inflammation). There is strong evidence that controlling gum disease can help reduce your risk for heart disease.

Stop stressing

Managing your stress can help reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Stress is often associated with high blood pressure. Chronic stress exposes your body to elevated levels of stress hormones, which also is not healthy.

Everyone deals with stress differently. The way you react to it can directly impact your health. There are breathing exercises that can help you process stress. Meditation has also proven to be an effective way to manage stress. Exercise is also a great way to deal with it. Poor ways to react to stress are to smoke, to drink alcohol, or to let it interfere with sleep.

Things to consider

Heart disease is consistently a leading cause of death in the United States. Heart disease often leads to heart attack or stroke.

Heart attack

A heart attack (also called a myocardial infarction), occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked. This blockage is caused by a buildup of plaque (fat and cholesterol). During a heart attack, part of the heart muscle is damaged, sometimes destroyed.

Heart attacks can be fatal. If you are having a heart attack, the quicker you get medical care, the more likely you are to survive. Treatment for a heart attack varies. Depending on the severity of the attack, your doctor may need to perform surgery. During surgery, he or she will attempt to clear or repair the blocked artery. Your doctor may also prescribe medicines to thin your blood and lower blood pressure.


A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is blocked. This can happen when a vein is blocked or when it bursts. The blockage interrupts the delivery of oxygen to the brain, which causes brain cells to die.

Strokes can be fatal. If you are having a stroke, the quicker you get medical care, the more likely you are to survive. Also, quick medical care can help prevent side effects of having a stroke. Side effects include temporary or permanent paralysis and speech problems. Treatment for stroke depends on the type of stroke. In some instances, surgery is required. Other times, a stroke responds to medications.

When to see a doctor

Depending on your age, you should be receiving regular screenings from your doctor for blood pressure and cholesterol level. These are two indicators of heart disease. If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, your doctor will prescribe a treatment plan that includes a healthy lifestyle. It also will likely include prescription medications to help control cholesterol or high blood pressure.

If you believe you are having a heart attack or stroke, you should call 911 immediately. Heart attack symptoms vary, but common heart attack signs include:

  • Chest discomfort. This can be pressure, tightness, squeezing, or pain in the center of your chest. It usually lasts for more than a few minutes. Sometimes it goes away and comes back.
  • Pain in one or both arms. Sometimes this pain isn’t limited to your arms. You may feel pain in your jaw, neck, back, or stomach.
  • This will come on suddenly and may feel like indigestion.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Cold sweat.
  • Dizziness.

Stroke symptoms are often more easily recognizable than those for a heart attack. According to the AHA, here is how to spot a stroke F.A.S.T.:

  • Face drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
  • Arm weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • Time to call 911 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • Can I inherit heart disease?
  • At what age do I need to begin taking my heart health seriously?
  • What is the best indicator of heart disease?
  • Can I really prevent heart disease?
  • What is the best way assess my heart health?
  • How can I stop smoking?


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Prevent Heart Disease

National Institutes of Health: Life After a Heart Attack

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Keep Your Heart Healthy


ALL ABOUT THE HEART. – Articles – Useful information.

1 – high level in the body of bad cholesterol (low density lipoproteins). This substance is involved in the formation of atherosclerotic plaques on the inner walls of blood vessels, which ultimately leads to a narrowing of their lumen, impaired blood circulation and an increase in the load on the heart. As a result, it begins to receive less blood, which means less nutrients, which often leads to irreparable consequences.
2 arterial hypertension i is another risk factor for diseases of the cardiovascular system, in particular heart attacks and strokes. It is dangerous because most people with high blood pressure may not be aware of it until a certain moment. By the way, people with hypertension tend to have elevated blood cholesterol levels.
3 – overweight also belongs to dangerous factors. It increases the risk of heart disease, not only because it overloads it, placing additional stress on it, but also because it increases the predisposition to diabetes mellitus, which also contributes to the development of cardiovascular pathology.
The main condition for effective prevention of cardiovascular diseases is a properly balanced diet: scientists claim that the path to a healthy heart also lies through the stomach. Moreover, many studies prove that about 50% of serious cardiovascular diseases arise as a result of improper diet . ..
Vitamins and minerals : what we need and what we don’t:

yes no sometimes
C, E, A, B
reduces the risk of heart attacks
Minerals, micro- and macroelements , such as magnesium, potassium,
calcium and iron , have a beneficial effect on blood composition, blood vessels
of the brain, reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
Beta-carotene and vitamin D do not reduce the level of bad cholesterol
, moreover, they accumulate in the body, therefore
people suffering from coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis
advise to limit their intake.
Omega-3 fatty acids have a beneficial effect on cerebral vessels
, preventing and reducing the development of atherosclerotic changes in the vascular system. But
OMEGA-3 should be taken only under medical supervision.

Heart healthy diet.
Food that is enjoyable, not to mention how healthy it is!
BLUEBERRY. This delicious berry has been shown to contain the powerful antioxidant pterostilbene, a substance that helps lower cholesterol and other unhealthy blood fats.
RED WINE. Grape skins contain the antioxidant resveratrol, which prevents the formation of blood clots and strengthens the blood vessels of the heart. In addition, alcohol increases good cholesterol levels, but this effect is only associated with doses less than 20 mg and in people without a high risk of stroke.
NUTS. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts are able to lower the level of bad cholesterol without lowering the level of good due to their high content of polyunsaturated fats. Nuts are also rich in vitamin E and amino acids, which protect the walls of the arteries and help them stay elastic longer. But try not to eat more than 30 grams of nuts a day: they are also high in calories.
AVOCADO. Indeed, avacado contains a lot of fat, but mostly polyunsaturated. The chemicals in avocados appear to interfere with the absorption of cholesterol and prevent the development of hypertension.
CHOCOLATE . Rich in flavonoid nutrients, dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
OLIVE OIL. Since it is polyunsaturated fat, the level of cholesterol in the blood does not rise.

ALARMS. Along with the typical, classic symptoms of a heart attack, such as pain in the heart and shortness of breath, atypical symptoms may appear. For example, sudden pain in the jaw may have nothing to do with heart problems, but when combined with one of the typical symptoms of a heart attack – chest pain – it becomes a serious reason for urgent medical attention.
IMPORTANT! Don’t forget about breathing exercises. Your physical therapist will help you determine the level of stress and type of exercise.
1. Cold sweat.
2. Sudden feeling of extreme tiredness.
3. Pain in the lower jaw, pressing or aching.
4. Sharp or pressing pain in the neck or forearm.
5. Drawing or sharp pain in the chest.
6. Rapid breathing, shortness of breath.
7. Pressing or aching pain in the upper part of the stomach.
8. Nausea.

Chest pain. Heart disease at a young age is rarely associated with damage to the coronary (blood supplying) vessels of the heart. The atherosclerotic process overtakes them at a more mature age. Nevertheless, pain in the heart in young people occurs quite often. And one of the reasons is mitral valve prolapse. Prolapse (or sagging of the mitral valve leaflets) is associated with the features of the connective tissue of the valves. And besides pain in the heart, it can manifest itself with other signs: episodes of dizziness, lightheadedness in transport, etc. and pains in the region of the heart are atypical (we call typical pains in coronary heart disease: those that are localized behind the sternum, arise with physical effort, give to the left hand and subside against the background of taking nitroglycerin or at rest). These pains are burning or stabbing in nature and are often very variable in localization from attack to attack.
Pain varies greatly in intensity, usually does not depend on physical activity and is not relieved by taking nitroglycerin.The duration of such chest pain is from a few seconds to many hours or even days, which is completely uncharacteristic for myocardial ischemia. Although atypical pains can be debilitating for the patient, there is no objective evidence that they indicate a serious disease of the heart and blood vessels.

STROKE: THREAT TO LIFE. This serious disease is largely provoked by ourselves – our way of life!
A woman who smokes and suffers from arterial hypertension brings the possible development of atherosclerosis and stroke closer by 10 years!
While everyone is “running from a heart attack”, the result of cardiovascular disease can be a stroke. Most often, a stroke develops due to arterial hypertension (high blood pressure). The insidiousness of this disease lies in the fact that very often it does not manifest itself and people do not realize that they are sick. And such patients – about 40% of the population of Russia. And then the rule of halves comes into force:

  • only half of the patients know that they have hypertension,
  • only half of those who know receive treatment,
  • only half of those who receive treatment , it is effective.

Result: the incidence of strokes in Russia is 4 times higher than in the USA and Western Europe. How to control the situation? Measure your blood pressure regularly. If at least twice it is 140 to 90 and higher, you should immediately consult a doctor, otherwise a stroke may develop. And the consequences of a stroke are very serious: a third of those who have suffered it die within a year, a third remain severely disabled and only a third get a chance to return to their former life.

Men under the age of 50 are more likely to be affected by stroke.After 70 years, gender does not matter. And most women believe that there is no need to worry when old age is on the way. But for every 10 stroke victims, there is one under the age of 45. And often, long before our 30th birthday, we ourselves are preparing the ground for this disease. For example, if we lead an unhealthy lifestyle and do not give up bad habits that contribute to the development of arterial hypertension and stroke. Everyone knows about these habits, but it is worth recalling: these are smoking, excess weight, excessive exertion, alcohol abuse.Also at risk are those with poor heredity. In any case, pay attention to these indicators:

  • pressure above 140/90,
  • high LDL (bad cholesterol),
  • high triglycerides (a type of lipid),
  • diabetes (or increased blood sugar).

Taking pills with a low estrogen formula doubles the risk of stroke.But keep in mind that the risk in women of childbearing age (when it is too early to think about stroke) is significantly reduced. So every woman preparing to take such drugs should check her blood pressure and do it regularly – once every six months.
Pregnancy. Certain complications, such as gestational diabetes, heavy bleeding during childbirth, preeclampsia (when blood pressure rises unexpectedly in the third trimester), according to recent studies, subsequently significantly increase the risk of stroke.This happens on average after 13.5 years. This means that mothers who have had problems during pregnancy should be especially careful about their health and be examined in a timely manner.
Menopause. It is no secret that the risk of stroke begins to increase sharply in women over 50. But hormonal changes are only one of the reasons. Weight gain can be disastrous. Studies have shown that most women at this age gain five or more kilograms, and as a result, an increase in blood pressure and other indicators.So, if you manage not to gain extra pounds, and also lead a healthy lifestyle, you will save yourself from additional risk.

The faster the blood flow is restored after a stroke, the lower the risk of subsequent movement and mental impairment.
And if you suspect a stroke, you (your loved ones) should insist on an urgent and thorough examination for a stroke. Unfortunately, women still consider strokes a male disease, despite the fact that more than 60% of deaths from stroke occur in the fair sex.Even ambulance specialists are not always able to recognize this ailment due to atypical symptoms.
Overdiagnosis is not terrible (a situation when a stroke is not detected). It is more dangerous if the situation is underestimated (underdiagnostics). Perseverance, attention to your health can save your life or give you a chance to fully recover in a short time.
Sometimes symptoms begin to subside and disappear within an hour. This is a temporary disruption of the blood supply to the brain, in which the same symptoms occur as in a stroke, but they are transient.However, everyone with these precursors of stroke has a 10-fold increase in risk of stroke, especially in the coming days.


  • Stop smoking immediately! Smoking cigarettes several times increases the risk of stroke. Once you quit – no matter how many years you’ve smoked – your risk of stroke will decrease.
  • Limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages, and if you cannot stop at a reasonable rate (a glass of vodka, brandy, a glass of white or red wine, a mug of beer), it is best to refuse alcohol!
  • Exercise for 30-60 minutes, if possible every day, can help you reduce your risk of cardiovascular complications.Any exercise is better than no exercise. When you play sports, make sure that it gives you pleasure, and in any case do not overload: mild dizziness or troubled breathing means that it is time to stop. And be careful: if you are not trained enough, not very athletic, ask your doctor for permission.
  • Lose those extra pounds. In order to more accurately determine the presence of overweight, calculate the body mass index (BMI) using the following formula: BMI = WEIGHT (kg) / GROWTH (m.²). Normal – BMI from 18.5 to 24.9 kg / m² Or just measure your waist: its circumference should not exceed 80 cm.
  • If you have diabetes, it is vital to control your glucose levels and receive the necessary treatment under the supervision of an endocrinologist …
  • Contact your doctor, as sometimes it is necessary to take medications to keep blood pressure under control, if, for example, you have a bad family history or already have cardiovascular and other diseases.

If you are young and healthy, then this is not necessary, but in men over 40, aspirin in small doses (for children), taken daily, helps to reduce the risk of heart attack by almost a third. Low-dose aspirin is effective in preventing cardiovascular attacks in women over 65, but it can be prescribed earlier if you are at risk of diabetes, overweight, or hypertension.In any case, taking aspirin should be started after consulting a doctor, because he, like any other drug, has its own contraindications.


  • BLOOD PRESSURE. Normal: below 120/80. Borderline: from 120/80 to 139/89. Hypertension: 140/90 and above.
  • TOTAL BLOOD CHOLESTEROL LEVEL. Acceptable: less than 200 mg / dl. Borderline: 200 to 239. High: 240 and above.
  • HIGH DENSITY LIPOPROTHEID LEVEL (HDL). Good: 60 mg / dL and above. Medium: from 40 to 59. High risk: below 40.
  • LOW DENSITY LIPOPROTHEID LEVEL (LDL). Optimal: less than 100 mg / dL. Medium: 100 to 129. Close to High: 130 to 159. High: 160 and above.
  • BLOOD SUGAR LEVEL: (fasting). Good: less than 100 mg / dL. Prediabetes: 100 to 125. Diabetes: 126 and above.

All about the heart | Association of Cardiovascular Surgeons of Russia Section “Cardiology and Imaging in Cardiac Surgery”


The human heart is a powerful muscle pump.Every day, the heart contracts and relaxes 100,000 times and pumps 7,600 liters of blood. Over 70 years of life, the average human heart contracts more than 2.5 million times.

The heart pumps blood through the circulatory system. The circulatory system is a network of elastic tubes that carry blood to the organs and tissues of the body. The circulatory system includes the heart and blood vessels: arteries, arterioles, capillaries (the smallest vessels), venules and veins. The arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body.Veins carry carbon dioxide and waste products back to the heart and lungs. If all the vessels of the human body are connected together and pulled out in one line, they will cover a distance of 96.5 thousand kilometers. This will be enough to grip the ground more than 2 times. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to all organs and tissues, including the heart itself. Metabolic products enter the blood from the tissues. Metabolic products are removed by the kidneys, liver and lungs.

The heart consists of 4 chambers; 2 atria and 2 ventricles.The chambers are separated by valves that open and close as the heart contracts, allowing blood to flow in only one direction. The valves open when the pressure in the chambers increases as the heart contracts.

Heart valves:

– Tricuspid valve between the right atrium and the right ventricle

– Pulmonary valve between the right ventricle and pulmonary artery

– Mitral valve between the left atrium and the left ventricle

– Aortic valve between the left ventricle and aorta

Each valve has multiple leaves. The mitral valve has 2 leaflets, the other valves 3.

How does the heart work?

The heart pumps blood due to the coordinated sequential contraction of its chambers. Blood enters the right atrium from the veins. Venous blood is rich in carbon dioxide and contains almost no oxygen. Compared to arterial blood, it is darker in color. When the heart muscle relaxes, venous blood flows through the open tricuspid valve into the right ventricle.

An electrical impulse that triggers a heartbeat that begins with the atrial contraction.The right atrium, contracting, fills the right ventricle with an additional volume of blood. After contractions of the right atrium, the right ventricle contracts. At this point, the tricuspid valve closes, preventing blood from flowing back into the atrium, and all blood from the right ventricle enters the pulmonary artery and then into the lungs. In the lungs, carbon dioxide is released from the blood and the blood is saturated with oxygen. Oxygen-rich arterial blood flows from the lungs into the left atrium.

Synchronously with the right atrium, the left atrium is contracting.From it, blood flows through the mitral valve into the left ventricle. The left ventricle contracts and pushes blood through the aortic valve into the aorta. Many arteries depart from the aorta, carrying blood to all organs and tissues.

All four chambers of the heart must contract in a specific manner. The contractions of the heart are controlled by electrical impulses. The chambers of the heart begin to contract after electrical impulses pass through them. The impulses originate in a special part of the heart’s nervous system called the sinus node.The sinus node is the main pacemaker that makes the heart beat. The pacemaker regenerates the pulses at a specific rate. Emotional responses and hormonal influences can alter this frequency, causing the heart to beat faster or less frequently.

An electrical impulse originating in the sinus node travels through the right and left atria, causing muscle cells to contract. After the atria have contracted, an electrical impulse travels along the nervous system of the heart further to the ventricles, forcing them to contract and expel blood into the vessels.The role of the electrical impulse is to provide the coordinated contraction of the heart that is necessary for it to function well.

Material prepared by E.Z. Golukhova.

What is our heart – Articles – Crystal Heart

The cavity of the heart is divided into 4 chambers: 2 atria and 2 ventricles. The left atrium and the left ventricle together constitute the left, or arterial, heart by the property of the blood in it; the right atrium and the right ventricle make up the right, or venous heart.The contraction of the walls of the heart chambers is called sistema, and their relaxation is called sistoles.

PP – right atrium; RV – right ventricle; LP – left atrium; LV – left ventricle

The heart has the shape of a somewhat flattened cone. It distinguishes between the apex, base, anteroposterior and lower-upper surfaces, and two edges, right and left, separating these surfaces.

The rounded apex of the heart faces forward and to the left, the base points upward, backward and to the right. It forms the atria, and in front of the aorta and pulmonary artery. The atria are blood-receiving chambers; the ventricles, on the other hand, eject blood from the heart into the arteries. The right and left atria are separated from each other by a septum, as are the right and left ventricles. Conversely, there is communication between the right atrium and the right ventricle in the form of the right atrioventricular orifice, as well as between the left atrium and the left ventricle.Through these holes, blood during atrial systole is directed from the atrial cavity to the ventricular cavity.

The walls of the heart consist of 3 layers: the inner endocardium, the middle myocardium, and the outer epicardium, which is the visceral layer of the pericardial sac.

Myocardium , or muscle tissue of the heart, is a network of interconnecting fibers. In the musculature of the heart, two sections are distinguished: the muscular layers of the atrium and the muscular layers of the ventricles.The fibers of both of them start from two fibrous rings, and the fibers of each section, as a rule, do not pass into the fibers of the other, the result is the possibility of contraction of the atria separately from the ventricles.

Endocardium , lines the inner surface of the heart cavity, consists of a layer of connective tissue with a large number of elastic fibers and smooth muscle cells.

An important role in the rhythmic work of the heart and the coordination of the musculature of the individual chambers of the heart is played by the so-called cardiac conduction system. Although the musculature of the atria is separated from the musculature of the ventricles by fibrous rings, there is a connection between them through the conducting system, which is a complex neuromuscular formation. The muscle fibers that make up it (Purkinje fibers) have a special structure: they are rich in myofibrils (organelles of striated muscle cells that provide their contraction) and rich in sarcoplasm (sarcoplasm fills the space between myofibrils and surrounds the cell nuclei). They are sometimes visible to the naked eye in the form of light-colored threads.

In the conducting system of the heart, nodes and bundles are distinguished.

  1. Atrioventricular bundle, begins with a thickening located in the wall of the right atrium near the tricuspid valve. The fibers of the node, directly connected with the musculature of the atrium, continue into the septum between the ventricles in the form of a bundle of His. In the ventricular septum, the bunch of His is divided into two legs, which go into the walls of the same ventricles and branch under the endocardium in their muscles. The atrioventricular bundle is very important for the work of the heart, since a wave of contractions from the atria to the ventricles is transmitted through it, due to which the regulation of the rhythm of the atrial and ventricular systole is established.
  2. Sinus node or sinusatrial bundle is located in the section of the wall of the right atrium (between the superior vena cava and the right ear). It is associated with the muscles of the atrium and is important for their rhythmic contraction.

Consequently, the atria are connected by a sinusoatrial bundle, and the atria and ventricles are connected by an atrioventricular one. Usually, irritation from the right atrium is transmitted from the sinus node to the atrioventricular node, and from it along the bundle of His to both ventricles.

Pumped Hearts Demand Change | Articles of the clinic Medservice

Heart failure in athletes is associated with overdevelopment of the muscles in the heart. This also explains the sudden deaths of athletes who seem to be in excellent physical shape. Especially during competitions, when the load on the body goes beyond human capabilities. This is explained by the inharmonious development of muscles and the cardiovascular system.

In my practice, I have never had to completely restrict physical activity to athletes in order to… bring the heart back to normal. The guys come with pumped bodies, but with shortness of breath, increased heart rate, sometimes aggravated myocarditis. In the absence of treatment, they will experience a decrease in the pumping functions of the heart, and in the worst case, cardiomegaly. Or “bull heart”.

The mechanism of development of pathology is as follows. Intense physical activity, a high-protein diet, and in some cases the intake of drugs that stimulate metabolism, lead to a sharp increase in all muscles, including the heart.This is especially the case for young guys who want to acquire the cherished forms of icons of show business and sports in the shortest possible time, to achieve serious strength indicators. In many cases, they even ignore aerobic activity or perform it with weights.

This results in disharmony between the volume of muscle mass and the cardiovascular system. Huge muscles begin to feel hungry. The passage system of blood vessels is insufficient to provide them with the necessary amount of oxygen and nutrients.Relatively speaking, there was a kilogram of muscles and five blood vessels, and now there are two and all the same five blood vessels. The athlete gives the load. My heart asks: “Well, give me oxygen! I have a lot of muscle mass! ” The circulatory system does not cope – as a result, heart failure and heart attack.

There is only one way out and it consists in revising the training regime and the inclusion of an aerobic load in it. This should be walking at a calm pace for at least 45-60 minutes. Desirable daily.

In our time of ubiquitous use of cars – it becomes a non-trivial task to allocate an hour for quiet walking. But athletes with hypertrophied muscle mass have no other choice. This is even more critical for them than for people with moderate muscles who do not lead an active lifestyle. People who walk a lot on VEM tests (bicycle) perform much better than athletes who ignore aerobic exercise.

Aerobic exercise will develop the bloodstream corresponding to the volume of muscle mass.But this does not happen overnight. You will have to spend at least a year. In this case, the growth of blood vessels occurs not only in the heart, but also in bone muscles, due to which bone tissue begins to develop. This is an effective prevention of osteoporosis, senile fractures.

Heart in a tubule: heart disease will be detected by exhaled air | Articles

A unique method for detecting cardiovascular diseases is being created in Russia. It is much simpler than the currently existing complex diagnostic complex (analyzes, cardiogram, ultrasound, etc.)e). Scientists have found that it is possible to determine the pathology of the heart in a person by the exhaled air – it contains increased concentrations of acetone, isoprene and some other substances. In the future, a device similar to a breathalyzer will be developed, with the help of which it is possible to carry out express diagnostics of the state of the heart muscle. In the future, it is planned to diagnose tuberculosis and lung cancer using the new method.

Heavy breathing

Ineffective work of the heart muscle can lead to disruption of other organs and systems – lungs, liver, kidneys.Therefore, it is so important to diagnose heart pathologies in time.

At the First Moscow State Medical University. THEM. Sechenov, create a unique method for determining heart failure by just one exhalation. Filipp Kopylov, a cardiologist and director of the Institute of Personalized Medicine at Sechenov University, told Izvestia that the idea of ​​creating such an analysis arose five years ago.

– We started to cooperate with colleagues from MEPhI, who created a device called “electronic nose”.These are already at airports and catch the smallest particles of drugs and explosives, – he said. – There was an idea to analyze the composition of the air that a person exhales. But experiments have shown that the created device is not suitable for this, since the exhaled air is too humid.

Electronic nose device created at MEPhI. The developer of the “electronic nose” Julia Shaltaeva

Photo: mephi.ru

Then scientists conducted another series of experiments using Swiss proton mass spectrometers.The work was carried out jointly with the Institute of System Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

– When a patient comes in with shortness of breath, it is difficult to determine why he is short of breath. And we have created a methodology that allows us to identify among such patients those who have the reason precisely in heart failure, – explained Philip Kopylov.

In such patients, there is a change in the so-called air imprint, that is, the composition of gases in exhalation. This is due to a violation of energy metabolism in tissues and cells, as a result of which certain toxic substances begin to be released into the bloodstream a. Then they go to the lungs. It was experimentally shown that the air exhaled by a patient with heart failure contains increased concentrations of several substances: acetone, isoprene, pentane and carbon monoxide.

According to the principle of a breathalyzer

As Philip Kopylov explained, in the future, large stationary mass spectrometers will not be needed to determine heart failure: a portable device that will be able to determine the indicated substances is enough. The Sechenov University plans to design a device similar in size to a breathalyzer. The patient will only need to exhale into it, and the doctor will see by the composition of the air what kind of heart disease a person has.

– While we are at the research stage: we have to find out what concentrations of substances are associated with different stages of the disease. I think that we will be able to draw up such a list by the end of this year, – said the scientist.

This ultra-fast examination will simplify the life of both the doctor and the patient, replacing the whole diagnostic complex, consisting of a blood test, ultrasound and cardiogram.

Research in this direction is promising and relevant, says Vladimir Zurochka, Senior Researcher of the Laboratory of Molecular Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering of the Higher Medical and Biological School of SUSU.

Photos: Depositphotos

– If such express diagnostics is sufficiently informative and inexpensive in terms of cost, then it will be very useful for outpatient medical institutions, especially in villages and towns far from large settlements.There is a shortage of narrow specialists in them, in particular, ultrasound doctors and functionalists, the expert noted.

Such express testing is increasingly being introduced into the practice of a doctor, the President of the Cardioprogress Foundation, an expert of the National Health League, Doctor of Medical Sciences Mehman Mammadov is sure.

– However, it must be borne in mind that devices for express diagnostics will not be able to fully replace complex procedures for diagnosing certain diseases, – he said. – It is known that the management of patients is regulated by clinical standards and international recommendations, according to which verification of the diagnosis requires not only a clinical examination, but also a number of diagnostic instrumental and biochemical procedures.

In the future, it is planned to diagnose tuberculosis and lung cancer using this method. Another possible application is to assess the patient’s condition under anesthesia during surgery.


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Top 5 foods for a healthy heart

But by balancing your diet, you can significantly improve the condition of your cardiovascular system and prevent many diseases.To do this, you just need to include a number of products in your regular menu:

1. Fish

Salmon is especially useful, but trout, tuna and mackerel are not without pleasant properties, because they contain many useful omega-3 fatty acids that reduce the risk of coronary artery disease . . Plus, having fish on your menu regularly will reduce the risk of myocardial infarction.

2. Avocado

A real find! First, thanks to polyunsaturated fatty acids, it significantly reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.Secondly, the potassium in avocados promotes proper heart function and relieves stress, which is one of the leading factors in the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Thirdly, it helps to lower blood pressure and is useful for hypertension.

3. Broccoli and garlic

Sulforapan, which is part of this type of cabbage, prevents the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. And garlic contains many active nutrients (about 70), which, with regular use, lower blood pressure by 15 – 20 mm Hg.Art.

4. Apples

They are rich in flavonoids – special substances that are necessary for the prevention of coronary heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.