Stroke

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

More Research Needed to Achieve Health Equity in Preventive Care

Jan 26, 2020

Experts identify gaps in knowledge about how to put proven services into practice.

Top CardioSmart News Articles of 2019

Dec 18, 2019

This year's most-read patient stories worth a second look.

Dog Owners Recover Better After Heart Events, Study Shows

Oct 21, 2019

The social support and physical activity that come with dog ownership can lead to better health outcomes after heart attack or stroke.

Diet Soda and Sugary Drinks May Affect Lifespan, Study Finds

Sep 29, 2019
Two or more sodas a day shown to increase risk of death in nearly half a million Europeans.

Consumption of Plant-Based Proteins Could Add Years to Your Life

Sep 17, 2019

Study suggests that we eat plenty of plant-based foods, while limiting red and processed meat.

Not All Plant-Based Foods are Created Equal

Sep 13, 2019
Just because a food is vegetarian does not mean it promotes health and longevity. 

Group Exercise Helps Patients Recover After Stroke

Sep 12, 2019
Analysis of 19 studies shows that stroke survivors benefit from cardiac rehabilitation.

Binge Watching TV is Worse for the Heart Than a Desk Job

Jul 15, 2019

Study links TV watching, but not seated work, to increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

Long Workdays Linked to Increased Risk for Stroke

Jul 11, 2019

French study links 10-hour workdays to stronger likelihood of stroke among men and women alike.

Taking Care of Your Teeth Benefits Heart Health

May 08, 2019
Frequent tooth brushing and dental visits could reduce risk for heart disease, finds study of a large Korean registry.

Study Links E-Cigarettes to Heart Attacks, Heart Disease and Depression

Mar 07, 2019

U.S. survey study links e-cigarette use to increased risk for heart problems and a host of other health issues.

Study Links Diet Drinks to Increased Risk of Stroke and Heart Disease

Feb 26, 2019
Drinking two or more diet drinks a day increases heart risks for women, study finds.

Top CardioSmart News Articles of 2018

Dec 13, 2018

This year's most read patient summaries worth a second look.

Post-Pregnancy Monitoring is Critical for Women with Blood Pressure Disorders

Dec 12, 2018

Pregnant women with conditions like preeclampsia face increased risk for stroke both during and after delivery.

Fluctuations in Weight, Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Spell Trouble for Heart Health

Oct 23, 2018

Maintaining good health reduces risk for heart attack, stroke and death, shows Korean study of 6.7 million adults.

Breastfeeding Helps Protect Women Against Future Strokes

Sep 19, 2018

U.S. study finds breastfeeding significantly reduces stroke, especially for those at higher risk.

Anxiety and Depression Boost Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

Sep 19, 2018
Australian study finds that adults with high levels of anxiety and depression are at greater risk of life-threatening heart events.

Children Should Avoid Diet Drinks, Advise Experts

Aug 15, 2018

Experts can’t say with certainty that artificially sweetened drinks are safe, based on a recent advisory from the American Heart Association.

Multivitamins Don't Protect Against Heart Disease, Study Shows

Aug 08, 2018

A review of 18 studies concludes that multivitamins have no cardiovascular benefits. 


Marriage Helps Protect the Heart

Jul 20, 2018

Study of more than 2 million adults finds that being married significantly reduces risk for heart attack, stroke and death.    

Erectile Dysfunction Associated with Increased Risk for Heart Attack and Stroke

Jul 13, 2018
Men with erectile dysfunction should discuss their risk for heart disease with their clinician.

Health Literacy is Critical to Heart Disease Prevention

Jun 29, 2018
An American Heart Association statement addresses health literacy as a barrier to heart health. 

Loneliness is Bad for the Heart

Jun 29, 2018
A lack of social support is linked to poorer health outcomes in heart patients.

More Cigarettes Smoked Equals Greater Risk for Stroke

May 15, 2018
Study highlights the importance of quitting or cutting back on smoking to reduce stroke risk.

California Wildfires Tied to Uptick in Heart Events

May 09, 2018
Statewide study shows increased heart-related hospital visits during the 2015 wildfire season.

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.

Infographic: Stroke

Patient Resource