Your heart is a powerful muscle that pumps one and a half gallons of blood through your body every minute, circulating oxygen and nutrients to your cells. Here’s what you need to know.
- About 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. Heart attacks strike most often on Christmas Day, followed by December 26 and New Year’s Day.
- Narrowing and hardening of the arteries, called atherosclerosis, develops slowly. It may even start in childhood.
- About 85 percent of the cholesterol in your blood is made by your liver. Your liver makes more cholesterol when you eat foods high in saturated fat, such as fatty meat and cheese. Natural cholesterol found in foods such as eggs and shrimp contribute very little to high cholesterol levels in most people.
- One in three adults have high blood pressure. About 7 out of 10 people who have their first heart attack also have high blood pressure. High blood pressure can run in families, but diet, stress and hardened arteries also contribute.
- Only about half of people with high blood pressure control the condition.