About this website

 This website aims to give information on the structure and function of the heart, and the way both of these factors can affect the way the body functions. As well as insight on current research and findings.

 Every cell in the body relies on recieving the nutrients and oxgen it needs to function correctly, as well as the appriopriate waste removal. The circulatory system is responsible for performing these functions for the cells. The heart is at the centre of the circulatory system and it powers the entire system, shown in the image below:

Image showing the Circulatory System- the body and its main vessels

 Image adapted from image by LadyofHats [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Interesting facts about the heart 

  • The heart only weighs around 11 ounces on average, but pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels every day

  • The heart can pump between 5-30 litres per minute around the body.

  • Everyday the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles, in a life time this equates to driving to the moon and back.

  • The heart is myogenic, so supplies its own impulse, therefore can continue beating even if separated from the body as long as there is an adequate supply of oxygen.

  • The fetal heart beats twice as fast as an adult's at around 150 bpm.

  • By the time a fetus is 12 weeks old its heart pumps 60 pints of blood a day around its body.

  • During a life time the heart will pump approximately 1.5 million gallons of blood.

  • The "Lub Dub" noise of the heart beat is made by the valves closing.

  • The heart begins beating 4 weeks after conception and does not stop until death.

  • The heart pumps oxygenated blood through the aorta at approximately 1 mile per hour.

  • Early egyptions believed that the heart and other organs had wills of their own and could travel around the body.

  • Plato theorised that reasoning origniated from the brain, but passions originated from the heart.

  • Prolonged lack of sleep can cause irregular jumping heartbeats called premature ventricular contractions.

  • Some heavy snorers may have a condition called obtrusive sleep apnea, which can have a negative effect on the heart.

  • Cocaine affects the hearts electrical activity and causes spasm of the arteries, which can cause a heart attack or a stroke, even in healthy individuals.

  • A woman's heart typically beats faster than a man's. The average male heart beats around 70 times per minute, whereas the average female heart beats around 78 times per minute.

  • When the body is at rest, its takes only 6 seconds for the blood to travel from the heart to the lungs and back, 8 seconds to travel to the brain and back and 16 seconds to travel to the toes and back.


Doctors Pioneer Valve Surgery

18/05/2011 03:49
Video of a patient suffering from a heart condition involving the valves of his heart. Doctors at a Manchester hospital used key hole surgery in replacement of traditional surgery due to him suffering from other medical conditions. Watch the video at BBC News, (25th June 2008). 

Experts Warn of 'epidemic' of worn out heart valves

18/05/2011 03:37
  Experts Warn the public to prepare for a 'epidemic' of valvular heart disease due to an ageing population. Read the full article at BBC News (14th December 2010)

Study calls for all over 55 to be offered heart drugs

18/05/2011 03:24
 Study calls for all over 55 to be offered heart drugs   By Dominic HughesHealth correspondent, BBC News, 5th May 2011 The study says preventive treatments like cholesterol and blood pressure lowering drugs could be given to all people over 55 Continue reading the main story   The...

Heart valve grown from stem cells

17/05/2011 13:41
Article taken from BBC News: Tuesday, 3 April 2007   ...