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

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.

Hip Hop Program Increases Stroke Awareness in Inner City Schools

Apr 24, 2018
Middle-school program increases stroke awareness among students and their parents using music, cartoons and video games.

Experts Shed Light on Stroke Risk and Birth Control Pills

Apr 23, 2018
Evidence suggests newer forms of birth control are generally safe, except for women with existing risk factors for stroke. 

Women Face Worse Outcomes After Stroke, Study Finds

Feb 26, 2018

Study highlights the differences in stroke outcomes between women and men. 

AFib Treatment Changes Over Time as Stroke Risk Increases

Jan 09, 2018

Patients with an irregular heart rhythm should revisit treatment options regularly, study suggests.

Moderate Exercise Reduces Risk of Death in Women

Dec 14, 2017
A study of more than 17,000 women links physical activity to a longer, healthier life.

Medication Adherence Remains Challenging for Heart Patients

Dec 12, 2017
Taking medication as directed is critical to improving outcomes.

The Heart Health Benefits of Nuts

Nov 14, 2017
A recent study links peanuts and walnuts to significantly reduced risk for heart disease.
I am CardioSmart

Enter the "I am CardioSmart" Contest

Oct 31, 2017

Tell us how you are living well with heart disease for a chance to win a $100 gift card!

A Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Helps Keep the Mind Intact

Oct 16, 2017
Experts provide simple yet effective strategies for protecting cognitive health as we age.

Continued Use of Low-Dose Aspirin is Critical for Preventing Heart Events

Oct 02, 2017
Stopping aspirin use is linked to 30% increased risk for heart attack, stroke and other heart problems.

Too Much Salt Puts Added Stress on Heart

Aug 17, 2017
A recent study confirms that consuming more than 3,700 mg of sodium daily taxes the heart.

New Guidelines Fine-Tune Heart Screenings in Young Athletes

Aug 17, 2017
Refined testing would save health care costs while still detecting serious heart conditions.

Aspirin Plus Blood Thinners are Optimal for Preventing Second Stroke

Aug 11, 2017
An analysis of five studies shows aspirin alone is not ideal for preventing a second stroke in many patients.

Music and Horse-Riding Therapy Boost Recovery after Stroke

Aug 01, 2017
Recreational therapy provides meaningful gains for stroke survivors, even years after stroke.

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