10 Facts You May Not Have Known About Heart Attacks

  1. Most heart attacks happen on Monday mornings. In the early morning hours, blood platelets are stickier, a person is partially dehydrated, and stress hormones (such as cortisol) are at their peak.
  2. Women have different heart attack symptoms (nausea, indigestion, and shoulder aches) compared to classic chest pain that men might experience.  25% of all heart attacks (especially those in women) go unrecognized.
  3. Negative emotions are risk factors for heart attack.  Laughter is good for the heart!  It relaxes and expands blood vessels increasing blood flow up to 20%!
  4. CT Scans of Egyptian mummies show that many had heart attacks debunking the myth that coronary heart disease is caused solely by modern day lifestyles.
  5. A daily dose of aspirin may help prevent a second heart attack.
  6. People who live alone are twice as likely to have a heart attack compared to those who live with a partner or roommates.
  7. Heart attacks are 27% more likely to happen around your birthday.  They are also most likely on Christmas Day, December 26th, and New Year’s Day.
  8. Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States $108.9 billion each year.  This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.
  9. Drinking a diet soda a day increase your chance of getting a heart attack.  Read more about the CUMC study here.  Fruit-infused seltzer water is a good alternative to cool off and satisfy your sweet tooth.
  10. Most importantly, hospital admissions of elderly Americans for heart attacks are on the decline mostly due to the accomplishment of preventive medicine, such as smoking cessation programs.
If you think you’re having a heart attack, call 911 immediately!  Time is of the essence.  Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Holly Andersen explain more about heart attack symptoms in this video and you can read more about the CUMC’s Preventive Cardiology Program here.