The 5 Most Dangerous Myths about Heart Disease

February 3, 2017

Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control, about 610,000 people die from heart disease every year. That’s 1 in every 4 deaths! And someone has a heart attack every 42 seconds! You probably know someone very close to you that suffers (or suffered) from heart disease. You may be at risk yourself or you have experienced heart pain that may be a symptom of a deadly disease. How can you know for sure if you will fall victim to a fatal heart disease? The very first thing to do is separate fact from fiction. Stop believing these 5 myths about heart disease immediately as the longer you believe them, the more harm you’re likely self-inflicting.


  1. “I’m only in my 20s or 30s. I don’t have to worry about heart disease.” Heart disease does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are as plaque could build up in your arteries at any age. Complicating factors and compounding diseases like obesity and diabetes are becoming more common in youth, which raises the risk of heart disease no matter how old you are.
  2. “My chest will hurt if or when I have a heart attack.” This is not always the case. Sometimes a heart attack will come with subtle pain and discomfort, but it’s not guaranteed that your chest will hurt should you have a heart attack. You may feel shortness of breath, lightheadedness, nausea, or pain in discomfort in your jaw, neck, back, or arms.
  3. “Heart disease runs in my family. There’s nothing I can do.” If heart disease does run in your family, you are at a higher risk to get heart disease but it’s not guaranteed. You can greatly reduce the risk through lifestyle changes like eating healthier, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoke.
  4. My heart is beating super fast, I’m having a heart attack!” Irregular heartbeats, whether your pulse is rapid or slow, is not indicative of any serious heart disease. It is a symptom of a medical condition known as arrhythmia, which is mostly harmless.
  5. “If I had high blood pressure, there would be warning signs.” There’s a reason why blood pressure is known as the “silent killer”: there are no warning signs. The best-case scenario is that you may experience subtle symptoms and discomfort. But there is no telltale sign that you have high blood pressure. The only way you’d know for sure is through a blood pressure test.


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