Myths About Heart Disease – and the Real Truth Behind Them

Nov 17 • 2014
Myths About Heart Disease

Many people think they know a lot about heart disease, but the truth is there are many common misconceptions about it. Read on to see some of the top myths about heart disease debunked.

I’m too young to need to worry about my heart health.
Oftentimes heart disease is associated with senior citizens. The truth is, one in three people in the United States suffer from this and they span various age groups. Because of the increase of risk factors like diabetes and obesity in the younger generation, heart issues in young and middle-aged people are becoming more common.

If I had high cholesterol or blood pressure, I would know.
If you don’t get a cholesterol or blood pressure test, there is no way to know whether you are suffering from hypertension or high cholesterol levels. Most of the risk factors associated with these have no symptoms. Even people who are in good shape and a healthy weight can have high cholesterol depending on their diet.

I should not exercise if I’ve had a heart attack.
In actuality, you want to begin exercising as soon as your doctor says it is safe. For many, this will be within two weeks. Your doctor can help you develop a workout plan that will work with your health. Exercise can reduce the progression of heart disease and makes it less likely that you will have another heart attack in the future.

Heart disease impacts men and women in the same way.
This is perhaps one of the biggest myths out there. The truth is, heart disease affects each gender very differently, starting with the symptoms alone. For example, many women experience unusual fatigue, weakness, or shortness of breath prior to having a heart attack. Additionally, many women do not feel any chest pain at the time of the attack. Knowing how the symptoms may present themselves depending on your gender and your age is very important.

Find out more about heart disease, including risk factors and symptoms, on our Heart Disease FAQ page.