Human Heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. You can read about the human heart, the components of the blood circulatory system, external and internal structure of the human heart in our blog post on physiological structure and life process. Heart health and the common heart diseases related to the heart should be studied for keeping the heart healthy. A healthy heart ensures fitness and longevity of life too. We will try to cover some basic topics about heart health and some heart-related diseases like heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, their symptoms, prevention, and cure.

You can read about the human circulatory system and its components here before proceeding with this topic.

Heart Beat, Pulse Rate, or Heart Rate

Everyone knows, their heartbeat. A heartbeat is a sound of the heart due to the regular and rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the heart muscle. Heartbeat varies with the physical condition of the body. A stethoscope is a device used to measure the heartbeat. At resting condition, the heartbeat of a healthy adult person is 60-100 times per minute. This is called the heart rate. A slow heartbeat, which is less than 60 times per minute, is called bradycardia or slow heart, A fast heartbeat, which is more than 100 times per minute, is called tachycardia or fast heart.

Because of the regular and rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the heart muscle, blood is pumped to various cells and tissues through arteries. While blood is flowing through the artery, the pressure exerted by the blood on the arteries can be felt from the outside. That is called the pulse. The heart rate and pulse rate are equal in general. So, these terms are used alternately with each other. In a healthy adult human, the normal pulse rate ranges from 60 to 100 times per minute. With the help of the fingers placed on the throat or arm, the pulse rate of a person can be felt.

How to measure pulse rate without a stethoscope?

Conduct the below activity in your classroom to measure the pulse rate by fingers.

Activity: Measurement of the Pulse Rate
Objective: To measure the pulse rate
1. Sit in a normal posture.
2. Place two fingers on the thumb side of your arm where the radial artery is situated between the radius bone and the tendon. Feel the pulse of this artery carefully. Count the number of beats or pulse for one minute. Record the pulse rates of your classmates in the same manner. Compare the data and discuss it with your classmates.
3. Similarly, place your finger on the carotid artery located beneath your lower jaw and measure your pulse rate.

Is your pulse rate between 60-100?
measurement of pulse rate

Common Heart Diseases in Human

The more, importance the heart has, the more risky heart disease. Every year lots of people die due to heart disease. So, it is very essential to know about common heart diseases their symptoms, and preventive measures. Here are a few common heart diseases in humans.

  • Heart Attack
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes

Heart Attack

Heart attack is one of the widely known and common heart diseases. It is a very fatal heart disease. In general, the process that continues in the heart is blood coming to the heart from various parts of the body, and blood going to various organs from the heart. But sometimes, the flow of blood to the heart tissues is suddenly reduced or blocked, and in this situation the heart cannot do its work properly, and the person feels extreme difficulty. This condition is called a heart attack. This is a serious and emergency condition.

Heart Attack – Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention

This condition may arise when the coronary artery that supplies pure blood to the heart becomes narrower due to the excess deposition of fat or cholesterol on the inner wall of the artery. Such as deposition of fat or cholesterol on the inner wall of the artery is called plaque. Sometimes, this plaque breaks down and forms thrombi, which may also block capillaries, damaging certain tissues of the heart. A heart attack is also called myocardial infarction, and immediate treatment is required to save the life of a person from a heart attack. Every year, thousands of people die due to heart attacks. So, it is very essential to know about the risk factors of a heart attack.

Risk Factors for Heart Attack

The major risk factor for heart attack is the diet that a person consumes. A person with more fat and cholesterol deposit in their body is more likely to suffer a heart attack. A few risk factors for heart attack are described below.


Most aged people are at risk of heart attack. Males above 45 years and females above 55 years of age are at the risk of heart attack than the youths. It doesn’t mean that youth do not have the risk of a heart attack. Youths with unhealthy lifestyles are also prone to heart diseases.

Consumption of Tobacco Products

Tobacco products are very harmful for any diseases along with heart attack. Chewing tobacco and its products and smoking cigarettes are some risky factors that cause heart attacks.

High Blood Pressure or Hypertension

A person who is suffering from high blood pressure for a longer span of time is more likely to cause heart attacks.

High Chloresterol and Triglycerides

Arteries become narrower due to the deposition of high levels of cholesterol on their inner wall. Such cholesterol resists the flow of blood through the artery and increases the chance of heart attack. Similarly, high level of triglycerides in the blood also increases the risk of heart attack.


Diabetes is a disorder in which blood sugar level increases in the body. This condition also increases the risk of heart attack.

Family History

If someone has a family history of heart attacks, s/he also has a risk of heart attacks.

Lack of Regular Exercise and Unhealthy Diet

Consumption of foodstuffs containing more trans-fat, salt and sugar, animal fat, and processed foods and lack of regular exercise also increases the risk of a heart attack.

Stressful Life

Emotional stress, like excessive anger or excessive negative thinking, etc, also increases the risk of a heart attack.

Consumption of Illegal Drugs

Habits such as taking drugs like cocaine and amphetamines as stimulants affect the coronary artery and increase the chance of a heart attack.

Symptoms of a heart attack

Symptoms of a heart attack vary among people. General symptoms of a heart attack are given below:

  1. Sudden pain and discomfort in the center of the chest slowly spread to the shoulder, hand, neck, jaw, and sometimes the stomach.
  2. Cold sweat, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
  3. Headache or sudden dizziness, nausea.
  4. Some people have sudden heart attacks. But most people experience warning signs of a heart attack a few hours, days, or weeks earlier, such as regular discomfort or pressure in the chest region that does not get reduced even after taking a rest. These are the initial symptoms and insufficient blood flow to the heart tissues may be the cause of discomfort in the heart. If such warning signs are seen, immediate checkups should be done by consulting with a doctor.

Preventive Measures of Heart Attack

Heart attack is a fatal disease, yet can be prevented by following the tips given below.

  • By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet.
  • Do not consume alcohol and tobacco products.
  • Keep a healthy body weight.
  • Exercise Regularly.
  • Manage the stress and try to remain calm.
  • High blood pressure and Diabetes should be treated in time and checked up time and again.
  • Regular health checkups with doctors prescribed foods to keep the heart healthy.

Diagnosis of heart attack and treatment

For the diagnosis of a heart attack, the blood pressure, pulse, and temperature are checked. Diagnosis also involves overall tests related to the heart, heartbeat, etc.

A heart attack is tested using various techniques including Electrocardiogram, blood test, Echo, Angiography, CT Coronary Angiogram, and MRI.


Angiography is a type of fluoroscopy X-ray used to test blockages in blood vessels. In general, X-ray images of blood vessels are not viewed clearly. However, in this process, a special dye called contrast medium is injected into the blood. This process highlights blood flow and provides a clear view of problems in blood vessels. The X-ray images formed in angiography is called an angiogram.

Angiography- Heart Attack Diagnosis

During a heart attack, many tissues of the heart are destroyed per minute. So, immediate treatment is essential to restore blood flow and oxygen levels. For this immediate supply of oxygen to the patients is required. Especially, the treatment of a heart attack patient depends on whether there is a partial or complete blockage of blood flow. The patient should be immediately taken to the hospital for treatment, where doctors’ instructions are followed. In general, when angiogram and angioplasty equipment are not available, doctors start treatment by using blood thinners. In places where angiogram and angioplasty are available, a surgical procedure is required to open the blocked artery.

Medical procedures such as Coronary angioplasty and stenting coronary artery bypass surgery etc. are often used to open the blocked arteries.

Coronary Angioplasty and Stenting

This medical procedure is used to open the clogged coronary artery of the heart, also called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). During angioplasty, a cardiologist puts a long, thin flexible tube called a catheter into a blood vessel of the hand or leg and guides it to the narrowed artery of the heart. A stent (a small metal mesh tube) is often placed during angioplasty. The stent helps to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels and maintain normal blood flow. The stent widens the blood vessels and prevents narrowing since it is coated with a medicine.

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

This is also called open-heart surgery and is the emergency surgical procedure adopted during a heart attack. This method involves surgery by taking a healthy blood vessel from the leg area and making a new pathway to improve blood flow to the heart muscle. Then, heart tissues get nutrient and oxygen-rich blood through a new pathway.

Blood Pressure

When the left ventricle contracts and pumps pure blood into arteries, pressure is exerted on the inner walls of the arteries. Such pressure created by the blood on the wall of blood vessels, especially arteries is called blood pressure.

Blood pressure depends upon the size of the blood vessel, blood flow, the amount of blood, and the force created during ventricular contraction. Blood pressure is measured in the unit mmHg. Blood pressure is expressed in two values or readings. The upper reading or value is the systolic blood pressure, which is created due to ventricular contraction. The lower value is the diastolic blood pressure, which is created due to ventricular relaxation or when the ventricle comes to its original position. Systolic blood pressure in an adult is 90mmHg to 130mmHg. Similarly, diastolic blood pressure in an adult person is 60mmHg to 90mmHg. Nowadays, blood pressure is measured by digital methods.

The device used to measure the blood pressure of a human body is called a sphygmomanometer. Blood pressure depends upon the mental state, age, sex, and physical state of an individual. The normal blood pressure of an adult person is 120/80 mmHg, where 120 mmHg is systolic blood pressure and 80 mmHg is diastolic blood pressure. Blood pressure below normal blood pressure is known as hypotension or low blood pressure, and above normal blood pressure is called hypertension or high blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the most dangerous conditions for the heart.

High Blood Pressure / Hypertension

If the blood pressure of an individual exceeds 140/90 mmHg, such a condition is called high blood pressure or hypertension. High blood pressure is a fatal condition, that can lead to various heart-related diseases including heart attacks, and takes the life of many individuals too.

High Blood Pressure – Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

One can identify a high blood pressure condition if the following symptoms are seen.

  • Headache, shortness of breath
  • Nose Bleeding
  • Sweating, fatigue
  • Face becomes red
  • Sleeplessness, anxiety

Causes of High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure is caused due to various reasons. Some of the causes of high blood pressure are mentioned below.

  • Lack of regular physical exercise.
  • Hereditary occurrence of high blood pressure.
  • Smoking and drinking alcohol regularly.
  • Excessive body weight
  • Physically and mentally stressful life.
  • Excess consumption of salty and fatty food items.

Preventive Measures of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure leads to various physical and mental problems. Therefore, high blood pressure can be avoided by paying attention on time. The following are the ways to avoid high blood pressure:

  • Pay attention to the kind of daily meal that you consume. Consume less salty and less fatty food items.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Take a balanced diet in food.
  • Daily physical exercise is essential.
  • Do yoga, meditation, and pranayama.
  • Take precautions by checking blood pressure frequently.
  • Live a stress-free life.
  • Participate in various recreational activities.


Diabetes is another common disease that can lead to heart attacks. Diabetes is caused due to unbalanced blood sugar levels. It is also known as sugar disease commonly. Due to various causes, the insulin hormone that helps in the management and utilization of glucose obtained from our food becomes low, and the blood sugar level rises. A condition in which the amount of glucose in the blood is more than required is called diabetes.

Diabetes – Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention

Symptoms of high glucose levels in the blood

Following are some of the symptoms to identify the high glucose level in the blood.

  • Excessive thirst and hunger.
  • Frequent dizziness and unconsciousness
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred Vision
  • The person becomes thin and fatigued
  • Muscular spasms and numbness in the hand and legs.
  • Slow healing of wounds, etc.

Reasons for High Glucose Levels in Blood

  • Insufficient secretion of insulin hormone
  • Obesity and an inactive lifestyle
  • Imbalance diet
  • Excessive consumption of fat- and carbohydrate-rich food
  • Heredity

Preventive Measures of High Blood Glucose Levels

High Blood glucose levels can be prevented by following simple tips. Prevention of high blood glucose level will help to prevent diabetes and decreases the risk of heart disease. Following are the simple tips that can help to prevent high blood glucose levels in your body.

  • Consume green vegetables and fruits abundantly.
  • Regular physical exercise.
  • Maintain proper weight.
  • Maintain an active lifestyle.
  • Live a stress-free life.
  • Go for a morning walk daily.
  • Eat a balanced diet.

Uric Acid

When purine-containing foods are consumed in excess amounts and during the metabolism of purine within the body cells and digestion, they break down and form a type of acid called uric acid. Uric acid is mainly produced in the intestine and liver and, for its excretion, reaches the kidney through the blood. In its way, it helps remove other toxic substances, including plaque deposited on the walls of the blood vessels, and makes blood circulation smooth.

Uric Acid – Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention

Purine is the source of uric acid, which the body continuously requires for the synthesis of DNA and RNA. Excessive consumption of purine-rich foods leads to the rise of uric acid levels in the blood and brings serious health problems. The problem caused due to the increase of uric acid levels in the blood is called hyperuricemia. Following are the problems of hyperuricemia.

Symptoms of high uric acid

High uric acid in the body can be identified from the following symptoms.

  • Pain in joints
  • Deep pain in muscles
  • Increased chance of kidney stones
  • Reddening, swelling, and burning sensation in the skin
  • Excessive pain in the joints of toes.
  • Difficulty in walking and movements

Reasons for High Uric Acid Levels in the Blood

Followings are the reasons for high uric acid levels in the blood.

  • Due to diabetes or any other disease, the kidneys are unable to function perfectly and cannot excrete uric acid.
  • Excess consumption of purine-rich food.
  • The habit of drinking less water

Control and Preventive Measures of High Uric Acid

You can control and prevent yourself from high uric acid by following the below tips.

  • Exercise Regularly
  • Drink Sufficient water, multiple times a day in small amounts
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking
  • Consume baking soda
  • Eat cherries (they contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant that helps to reduce uric acid in the blood.

How to make your heart healthier?

For a healthy body, a healthy heart is a must. A healthy heart keeps a person healthy in many aspects. It will make one risk-free from heart disease, makes the blood circulation well, and also helps to regulate the body temperature, chemicals, etc. So, here are some proven tips for an individual to keep their heart healthy.

You can read an article on how to prevent heart disease here.

  • For a healthy diet, you need to focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins like poultry, fish, and legumes. Minimize the intake of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium found in processed and fried foods. Instead, opt for healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and fatty fish like salmon, which support heart health.
  • Also, one needs to quit smoking and consuming tobacco products. Alcohol consumption also should be limited. By doing these, not only your heart is healthy, but also life will be more healthier and peaceful.
  • As diseases like heart attacks suddenly occur, we don’t know about our heart conditions. So, regular checkups heart and other parts of the body should be done.
  • Cholesterol consumption must be less and proper care of other body parts must be done.
  • Regular physical exercise along with mental calmness is also required to keep your heart healthy.
  • Besides this, you can follow strict plans from doctors, if you are a heart patient and you shouldn’t consume any kind of drugs without a prescription from doctors or chemists.

With these tips, you can ensure a healthy heart.

In a nutshell, prioritizing a heart-healthy diet is vital for maintaining robust and resilient hearts. Opt for generous servings of nourishing fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins like chicken, fish, and beans. It’s crucial to steer clear of harmful fats and excessive salt found in fried and processed foods. Instead, embrace the goodness of beneficial fats from nuts and fatty fish such as salmon. This wise approach shields our hearts and supports overall well-being. Each healthful choice we make acts as a protective shield, promising a fulfilling and joyful life, brimming with wellness. Let’s savor every nutritious bite, cherishing our hearts with boundless love and care.

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