How Well Do You Know Your Heart Health?

By: Zoe Samuel

How Well Do You Know Your Heart Health?
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Unless you are a Time Lord or you suffer from a very rare genetic mutation, you only have one heart, and that means if you want it to last your entire lifetime without giving up on you, you need to take care of it. Your heart doesn't get nights off, like parts of your brain. It doesn't have a partner, like your lungs and kidneys. It can't nap in the afternoons, like your digestive system. Your heart has to start working before you're even born and then keep on keeping on for the best part of a century without a single meaningful break.

Certain external environmental factors like growing up in the house with a smoker or living downwind from a cement factory can really damage your heart. You might also be unfortunate in your parentage. However, most of your heart health is within your control, meaning that your choices really matter - and the worse your genes or environment, the more crucial it becomes that you do your best to alleviate the unfair hand you have been dealt by both nature and nurture. You don't have to be a varsity sports-playing vegan with hours of time and lots of money to lavish on yourself, either: you just have to make a few small tweaks for large results. So let's see how well you know the basics of what a healthy heart looks like so you know what direction to point yourself. Good luck!

What is "good cholesterol"?
High-density lipoprotein
HDL cholesterol is good for you because it carries the bad LDL cholesterol back to the liver from other places in the body, so that it can be processed.
Low-density lipoprotein
It's a myth.
All cholesterol is good cholesterol.

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What is a healthy adult heart rate in beats per minute?
Under 50 bpm
Over 100 bpm
30-70 bpm
60-100 bpm
This depends on a lot of factors like how big you are, but generally speaking you want to be between 60-100 bpm. If you're very fit, you might be between 45-60 though, as your heart gets stronger and does not need to work as hard.

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What is a healthy blood pressure?
Less than than 180 over 120, more than 160 over 110
Less than 120 over 80 and more than 140 over 90
More than 120 over 80 and less than 140 over 90
Between 120 over 70 and 140 over 90
120 over 70 is fine, 140 over 90 is fine-ish. Lower or higher could cause trouble.

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What does your blood pressure actually measure?
How fast your blood goes
How elastic your arteries are
Literally, pressure, as in pounds per square inch
Blood pressure is how fast your blood is going and with how much force - that is, if it's too low, maybe you haven't got enough blood (literally), but more likely it means it's not being pumped with enough force. If it is too high, you might have blockages or inelastic blood vessels.
Whether you have enough blood

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How many Americans die of heart disease every year?
500,000
1,170,000
610,000
One in four deaths is due to heart disease, so take care of the little fella!
340,000

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What is a heart murmur?
A sign of a heart attack
A whooshing sound
A whooshing sound between beats is called a heart murmur. It can be totally benign or incredibly serious. If you have one and it doesn't go away, please, get yourself checked out. It might be nothing, but wouldn't you rather know?
When your heartbeat is irregular
When your heart is too weak

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What is special about heart cells?
Nothing
Some of them are neurons.
They beat on their own.
If you put human heart cells in a petri dish, as long as they are alive, they'll beat. They don't care if they are attached to a heart: those tough little guys will beat, God help them.
They are red.

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What are the main bigger chambers of the heart called?
Atria
Valve
Sulci
Ventricles
The little chambers are atria and the big ones are ventricles.

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What is a stent?
A new valve
A ring around your blood vessel to hold it open
A tube in your blood vessel to hold it open
A stent is a little tube that goes in a large blood vessel that has ruptured or narrowed. It used to be very serious having one put in, and while it is no picnic now, it's not nearly as terrifying as it was.
A Band-Aid for a blood vessel

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Which of these means you have a blocked blood vessel?
Stroke
Heart attack
A heart attack is when you have a blockage that deprives your heart of oxygen, and heart tissue can actually die. It's very serious, but often treatable if you get help quickly.
Aneurysm
Atherosclerosis

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What is the difference between an artery and a vein?
No difference
Arteries are bigger.
Veins take blood toward the heart, arteries bring it back.
Arteries take blood away from the heart, veins bring it back.
As your biology teacher probably put it, "A, A, arteries away!" Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart, veins bring oxygen-poor blood back to it.

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What color is blood inside the body?
Blue
Red
Blood is red, it's just redder when it is oxygenated. Your veins look blue under your skin due to the way light passes through or is reflected by skin.
Clear
Black

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What is a stroke?
Brain damage due to suddenly limited blood supply to the brain
If your blood supply to your brain is disrupted, you can have a stroke. This might happen for many reasons. A stroke is also called a brain attack, as it is characterized by brain tissue dying. It's very important to be treated within an hour to save the brain tissue.
A blockage in a blood vessel in the brain
Bleeding in the brain
When your heart attack is so bad it damages your brain

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What is a capillary?
A blood valve
A little blood vessel
The capillary is the smallest kind of blood vessel, and you have many, many thousands of them!
A big blood vessel
An internal wall in the heart

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What are the first symptoms of stroke?
Drooping face
Arm weakness
Slurred speech
All of the above
Stroke patients may also get tingling, pain, dizziness or all sorts of other problems. Think FAST: that's Face, Arms, Speech, and Time to call 911.

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How many gallons of blood does your heart pump every day?
500 gallons
200 gallons
2,000 gallons
You only have 1.2 to 1.5 gallons of blood in your body but it goes round and round so that your blood has to pump 2,000 per day.
5,000 gallons

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How long are your blood vessels, all together?
1,000 miles
5,000 miles
10,000 miles
60,000 miles
Your blood vessels are 60,000 miles long, which is over 1/5 of the way to the moon!

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What day of the year has the highest number of heart attacks?
Christmas Day
Christmas Day is when people eat and drink far more than is good for them while pretending to like all of their relatives (invariably including one who they frankly don't). The combination of indulgence and stress can kill!
Independence Day
New Year's Day
Blue Monday

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Where is the first written recommendation of a vegetarian diet to promote heart health?
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is in the New Testament and is the first account of going green to stay healthy.
The Book of Genesis
The laws of Draco

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How many times a day does your heart beat?
50,000
200,000
150,000
100,000
The heart beats 100,000 beats a day!

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Where does blood go from the left side of your heart?
To the outside of the heart
To the lungs
It goes from the left to the lungs, and from the right to the rest of the body.
To the legs
To the rest of the body

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If your heart stops beating, how long do you have to get it started again before you will experience injury or death?
1 minute
10 minutes
8 minutes
4 minutes
Some people can hold their breath longer than this, but they certainly cannot make their heart stop that long. They would definitely die.

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What does CPR stand for?
Cardio-physical resumption
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
CPR is when you resuscitate a person whose breathing or heart has stopped, and manually make it work until it can be made to start working again on its own.
Cardiopulmonary rejigging
Central pulmonary rewiring

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A defibrillator gives you an electric shock. What does it actually do?
Restart your heart
Make your heart go back to normal rhythm
It doesn't actually restart your heart, it just makes it go back to a better rhythm if it is going too fast or going irregularly.
Stop your heart briefly so it can start itself again
Nothing, it's a placebo.

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What is a pacemaker?
An artificial heart to replace your heart
A partial replacement for your heart, replacing one half of it
An artificial device for stimulating the heart muscle and regulating its contraction
Pacemakers save lots of lives as they help people's heart rate stay regular.
A device to unblock your heart's valves daily

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Women's hearts beat a little faster than men's, on average. What's the difference in beats per minute?
5 bpm
8 bpm
Women's hearts go about 8 beats per minute faster than men's, on average. This is not always the case, though, so if your heart is faster or slower than your opposite-gender friends, don't worry.
11 bpm
15 bpm

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Which is the only part of the body that does not get blood from the heart?
Cornea
This is one reason that a corneal transplant is so likely to be accepted by the body.
Lung
The heart itself!
Kneecap

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How fast does a newborn baby's heart beat?
100-150 bpm
50-80 bpm
70 to 160 bpm
Babies have very fast little hearts. Listening to them on a stethoscope is very exciting!
150-200 bpm

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What is one result of congestive heart failure?
The heart expands.
Having a big heart is only a good thing in a non-literal way. If your heart is very sick, it can expand to twice the size of a regular heart!
The heart shrinks.
The interior walls of the heart get thinner.
The heart starts tilting to the left.

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How much of your risk for heart disease is due to lifestyle factors like exercise and not smoking?
20%
80%
This is good news as it means you can radically alter your odds of keeling over from a heart attack!
60%
100%

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Roughly how big is a heart valve?
A dime
A half-dollar coin
A healthy valve is the size of a half-dollar coin.
A quarter
A nickel

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Why is heart cancer very rare?
Heart cells stop dividing early in life.
Cancer means uncontrolled cell division, so it struggles to happen in places where there isn't any cell division going on.
Heart cells can't get cancer.
Heart cells always recognize cancer and kill it.
It's not, it's just rare that people get treated - because by the time you know you've got it, you've died of it.

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How long does one heartbeat take, typically?
1.2 seconds
0.5 seconds
0.3 seconds
0.8 seconds
Your heart doesn't always do these at the same speed and there's a little gap between them, but generally speaking, they take about 0.8 of a second each.

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What's one surprising symptom of heart trouble?
Your nose gets bigger.
Your shoes get tighter.
If your body retains too much water, that might be a sign that your heart is weak.
Your hat size goes up.
Your skin is tighter.

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Can you really die of a broken heart?
Of course!
It's true! Serious stress or sadness can cause your heart to give up. Chemicals like the stress hormone cortisol are incredibly bad for your heart's function. Your heart is so connected to your mind that after genetics and diet/exercise, your best protection against heart trouble is an active social life, ideally including a happy marriage.
Obviously not.
Only if you were already sick
Only if you have an underlying genetic condition

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