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The heart is a hollow muscular organ about the size of a fist located slightly left of the breastbone. It pumps blood through the network of arteries and veins to various parts of the body by repeated, rhythmic contractions. It is found in all animals with a cardiovascular system, which includes the vertebrates. The vertebrate heart is principally comprises of connective tissue and cardiac muscle which is involuntary striated muscle specific to the heart and is responsible for the heart's ability to pump blood. The structure of the heart can vary among the different animal species. Cephalopods have two "gill hearts" and one "systemic heart". In vertebrates, the heart lies in the anterior part of the body cavity, dorsal to the gut. Human heart have four chambers and comprises of the right atrium which receives blood from the veins and pumps it to the right ventricle, the right ventricle which receives blood from the right atrium and pumps it to the lungs, where it is loaded with oxygen, the left atrium receives oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it to the left ventricle, the left ventricle (the strongest chamber) pumps oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. The left ventricle’s vigorous contractions create blood pressure. It is always surrounded by a pericardium, which is usually a distinct structure, but may be continuous with the peritoneum in jawless and cartilaginous fish. Hagfish, uniquely among vertebrates, also possess a second heart-like structure in the tail. The average human heart, beating at 72 beats per minute, will beat approximately 2.5 billion times during an average 66 year lifespan, and pumps approximately 4.7-5.7 litres of blood per minute. It weighs approximately 250 to 300 grams (9 to 11 oz) in females and 300 to 350 grams (11 to 12 oz) in males.
Scope and Importance of Heart:
In most people, heart disease develops through a lifetime of cigarettes, Trans- fats or high glycemic foods. For only a minority of patients does the cause lie in their genes. But when such atypical patients show up for treatment, figuring out why their hearts aren’t working has been a huge challenge for their doctors. The process of deciding if a heart patient’s problem is genetic and, if so, which gene defects might be causing the problem can take weeks or months, cost a thousand dollars or more, and, at the end, leaves physicians still scratching their heads over a mountain of uncertain data. Importance of Heart: The continuing epidemic of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in the United States and globally calls for renewed and intensified public health action to prevent heart disease and stroke. Public health agencies at national, state, and local levels (including CDC in partnership with NIH) bear a special responsibility to meet this call, along with tribal organizations and all other interested partners. The widespread occurrence and silent progression of atherosclerosis and high blood pressure (the dominant conditions underlying heart disease and stroke) has created a CVD burden that is massive in terms of its attendant death, disability, and social and economic costs. This burden is projected to increase sharply by 2020 because of the changing age structure of the U.S. population and other factors, including the rising prevalence of obesity and diabetes. Several popular myths and misconceptions have obscured this reality, and these must be dispelled through effective communication with the public at large and with policy maker.
The global cardiovascular device industry (part of the medical devices market) is growing rapidly and exhibits signs that it will continue to evolve and expand to reach over $97 billion by 2015, up from nearly $85 billion in 2010 according to a study from BCC Research. This boom is strongly supported by a variety of heart health-related problems that are steadily increasing in number around the world: Over 80 million people suffer from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) globally reports the American Heart Association, with more than 17 million deaths every year.
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This page was last updated on 12th Sep, 2015
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