the VOA Special English Health Report.
talked last week about the life of famed heart doctor Michael DeBakey. He died
this month at age ninety-nine.
we talk about the object of his work. The heart is a complex organ that starts
beating a few weeks after conception. At this point the heart is a tube. In the
coming days, it grows and bends into the shape of the heart.
it divides into four parts. As the heart beats, it pumps blood through these
chambers and the blood vessels in the body. The body is estimated to have at
least ninety-six thousand kilometers of blood vessels.
about the same as two and a half times around the Earth. But blood goes the
distance in about twenty seconds on its way back to the heart. Each day the
heart pumps about eight thousand liters of blood.
blood feeds the brain and other organs with oxygen and nutrients. It also
carries away carbon dioxide and other waste.
heart pumps by expanding and contracting of muscle. In a healthy adult, the
heart beats an average of seventy-two times a minute -- about one hundred
thousand times a day.
healthy adult heart is about the size of two fists and looks like a piece of
red meat. But in overweight people, it can look yellow because of fat.
heart disease started growing sharply in the second half of the twentieth
century. As machines did more and more work, people did less and less. Not only
did physical activity decrease, but people started eating more and more
say a diet low in fats and high in fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole
grains may help reduce the risk of heart disease. At least thirty minutes a day
of physical activity, enough to work up a sweat, can also help. Also important
to good health is a good night's sleep.
disease is caused by disorders of the heart and blood vessels. It includes
heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure. The World Health Organization
says there are three major causes: tobacco use, physical inactivity and an
W.H.O. says cardiovascular disease is the world's leading cause of death. And
it is predicted to remain that way unless more action is taken. Experts
estimate that it could kill twenty million people a year by twenty fifteen. An estimated
seventeen and a half million people died in the year two thousand five. Around
eighty percent of them died in low- and middle-income countries.
that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver. For more health news, go to voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve