Stroke and heart disease share many risk factors. Do you know your risk?

Learn about Stroke

Your brain is the master control center for your body. It directs most of what you do—speedily orchestrating your movements, emotions and ability to think, talk and learn. To do this, your brain needs a steady supply of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood. That’s why if you suffer a stroke—when blood flow to the brain is cut off—brain cells can die very quickly. Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in adults. According to the American Stroke Association, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds in the United States.

If you’ve had a stroke, your recovery will depend on a number of factors, including how badly your brain was damaged and how quickly you get medical care. Some strokes are mild, while others can be severe. In the worst case scenario, a stroke can lead to paralysis (being unable to move parts of the body), loss of speech, problems thinking or feeling or controlling emotions, or even death. The good news is that more people are surviving strokes than ever before thanks to advances in treatments and rehabilitation. 

If you have survived a stroke, there are many things you can do to regain lost function. You can also prevent another stroke from happening by focusing on lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol, not smoking, and staying active. If you have, or are at high risk for, heart disease or stroke, you need to know the warning signs. It could save your life.

Use this condition center to learn more about stroke, create a list of questions to ask your health care provider, and much more.

Stroke News & Events

Declines in U.S. Death Rates Have Slowed

Nov 19, 2015
Researchers measure progress on heart disease and other leading causes of death, and identify areas for improvement.

Low-Fat Diets Not the Best Weight Loss Solution

Nov 19, 2015

A review of more than 50 clinical trials comparing low- versus higher-fat diets shows no significant difference in weight loss results.

CardioSmart News

Have Atrial Fibrillation? Blood Thinners Can Prevent Strokes, Save Lives

Oct 27, 2015
Anticoagulants, or blood thinners, reduce the chance of a stroke in people with atrial fibrillation by 50% to 60%. That’s why almost all patients with atrial fibrillation should take them, according to the FDA.

African-American Veterans Healthier Than White Counterparts

Oct 22, 2015

Analysis of VA data stands in contrast to health disparities in the general U.S. population.

Music Boosts Heart Health

Oct 13, 2015
Music’s effect on heart activity, blood pressure and breathing bodes well for health.

A Healthy Lifestyle in Midlife Makes for Healthier Golden Years

Oct 13, 2015

The benefits of healthy choices carry long into older adulthood.

Enter the "I am CardioSmart" Contest

Oct 05, 2015

Tell us how you are living well with heart disease for a chance to win a trip for two to Chicago in April 2016!

Longer, But Not Necessarily Healthier, Lives

Sep 25, 2015
While life expectancy continues to rise, heart disease becomes the leading cause of disability around the world.

Deep Belly Fat Increases Cardiovascular Risk

Sep 18, 2015
Study finds that both volume and type of belly fat have an impact on heart health.

Age and Gender Differences in Heart Disease Mortality Rates

Sep 17, 2015
Despite recent drops in cardiovascular mortality rates, death toll among young adults remains high.

Working Long Hours Increases Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

Sep 15, 2015
Working 55 hours or more a week increases stroke risk by 33%.

Minorities Less Likely to Call 911 After Stroke

Sep 11, 2015

Despite recommendations to call 911 at the first sign of stroke, minorities are less likely to seek immediate medical assistance than whites.

Southern Diet Strongly Linked to Heart Disease

Sep 02, 2015
Excessive sugar and saturated fats are to blame for the negative impact on heart health.

Obese Patients More Likely to Receive Preventive Meds

Aug 25, 2015
This study investigates the link between obesity, medications to help mitigate heart disease risk, and what is known as the “obesity paradox.”

Economic and Social Forces Have Big Impact on Heart Health

Aug 21, 2015
The American Heart Association has issued a scientific statement addressing social factors that influence risk for heart disease.

A History of Trauma Places Women at Increased Cardiovascular Risk

Jul 28, 2015
Traumatic events like physical assault and childhood abuse are linked to a nearly 50% increased risk for heart attack or stroke.

The Toll Traffic Takes—Even When You’re Not Driving

Jul 16, 2015
Traffic noise increases risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

Chocolate Protects Against Heart Disease and Stroke

Jul 01, 2015
Moderate chocolate consumption helps, not harms, cardiovascular health.

Action, Not Advice, Helps Smokers Quit

Jun 25, 2015
Creating a quit plan and providing tools for ongoing support is more effective than education alone in helping smokers quit.

Cash Incentives Help Smokers Quit

Jun 03, 2015
Rewards-based programs are much more appealing than deposit-based programs, which require smokers to risk their own money.

Depression Increases Stroke Risk, Even if Symptoms Subside

Jun 01, 2015
Study findings highlight the need for increased screening for mental health and better treatment for conditions like depression.

Strong Grip Indicates Better Heart Health

May 29, 2015
Grip strength is a simple and affordable way to assess health, including risk for heart disease and stroke.

Complications From Heart Drugs More Common in Women than Men

May 26, 2015

Gender differences in the safety and efficacy of heart drugs are widely overlooked despite women having increased risk of complications.

Mediterranean Diet Improves Memory and Brain Function

May 26, 2015
A diet rich in olive oil and nuts may improve brain function and reduce risk for dementia.

A National Plan to Get America Moving

May 11, 2015

Proposed changes to our physical and social environments encourage regular physical activity for Americans throughout the course of the day.

Featured Video

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts. Watch this video to learn about what symptoms to watch for.

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