February might make you think about Valentine’s Day, but while you’re at it, think about your heart from a health angle, not just a romantic one.
The fact is, we need to know how to protect this precious organ, roughly the size of a large fist, weighing in anywhere from eight to 12 ounces in humans but weighing as much as 1,500 pounds(!) in blue whales. You need to work hard to keep your heart healthy, because it’s working hard for you, beating about 100,000 times a day, moving about six quarts of blood throughout the body each day.
Heart disease is nothing new; it’s been found in 3,000-year-old mummies. But despite its long history, the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to grow. It’s the leading global cause of death, accounting for more than 17.6 million deaths per year in 2016 (one out of three deaths). That number is expected to increase to more than 23.6 million by 2030.