Stroke

Understand how to prevent stroke and recognize its signs.

JoAnne M. Foody, MD, FACC, CardioSmart Editor-in-Chief
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

Texting Program Saves Lives of Stroke Patients

Nov 13, 2014
A simple texting program helped ensure that stroke patients received the best-possible treatment upon reaching the hospital.

Lupus Linked to Congenital Heart Defects

Nov 13, 2014
Study finds that women with lupus are almost 3 times more likely to have a child with a congenital heart defect.

New Guidelines for Stroke Prevention

Nov 07, 2014
There are many steps we can take to help prevent a first stroke, according to a recent statement on primary prevention.

Study Reveals Paradox of Cigarette Sales in Pharmacies

Oct 31, 2014
Patients at risk of smoking-related diseases often purchase cigarettes at the same pharmacy used to fill prescription medications.

Healthy Fats Lower Cholesterol, Despite Weight Gain

Oct 23, 2014
Healthy fats help offset the negative impact of weight gain on heart health, finds a recent study.

Rapid Weight Loss is Not So Bad, After All

Oct 23, 2014
Gradual vs. rapid weight loss has little impact on long-term weight control.

Keeping Radiation to a Minimum for Heart Patients

Oct 10, 2014
With radiation exposure a hot topic in recent years, here are strategies for enhancing radiation safety in heart imaging.

Childhood Risk Factors Have Lifelong Impact on Heart Health

Oct 10, 2014
Weight and blood pressure during childhood have a long-lasting impact on heart function later in life.

Obesity Rates Plateau in U.S., but Waistlines Continue to Expand

Sep 24, 2014
More than half of American adults have abdominal obesity, according to national trends from the last decade.

Do You Know Your Heart-Health ABC's?

Sep 24, 2014
Improving heart health just got a little bit simpler, thanks to the ABC’s of heart disease prevention.

Self-Management Improves Outcomes for Patients with Heart Valve Implants

Sep 23, 2014
Empowering patients with heart valve implants to manage their own health reduces risk of complications, finds study.

Preventing Sudden Cardiac Death in Young Adults

Sep 19, 2014
A recent scientific statement weighed the pros and cons of using tests in healthy individuals between 12-25 years old.

Aspirin Offers Safe, Affordable Option to Prevent Blood Clots

Sep 12, 2014
A new study confirms that aspirin is a safe and effective treatment for patients with a history of venous thromboembolism.

U.S. Hospitals Fall Short in Stroke Treatment

Sep 12, 2014
Few stroke patients receive optimal care, according to 2011 data from U.S. hospitals.

Support From Friends and Family Wards Off Stroke

Sep 08, 2014
New study finds a link between stroke risk and the size of one’s social network.

Weight Watchers and Atkins Equally as Effective

Sep 05, 2014
There’s little difference between trademarked diet programs, finds new study.

Less Educated Smokers Have Greatest Stroke Risk

Sep 05, 2014
Traditional risk factors for stroke are especially dangerous in poorly educated adults, finds study.

Enter the "I am CardioSmart" Patient Contest

Sep 02, 2014

Tell us how you are living well with heart disease for a chance to win a trip to San Diego, CA.

Coca-Cola Family Track Walk in Richmond, VA

Aug 29, 2014
A fellow of the American College of Cardiology will be at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 6 to share tips on heart health and the benefits of an active lifestyle.

Heart Group Says E-Cigarettes Require Strict Regulation

Aug 28, 2014
Electronic cigarettes should be included in smoke-free air laws, according to the American Heart Association.

Comprehensive Testing Helps Predict Stroke Risk

Aug 26, 2014
Study finds that a comprehensive group of common heart tests may better estimate stroke risk in patients.

Drop in Hospitalizations for Heart Disease and Stroke

Aug 25, 2014
There have been significant improvements in the treatment and prevention of heart disease in the past decade, based on national hospital trends.

Folic Acid Deficiency Rare in U.S.

Aug 19, 2014
Study finds folic acid deficiency is extremely rare, making routine tests unnecessary in the general population.

Concerns about Neck Therapy and Stroke Risk

Aug 18, 2014
While there isn’t enough evidence that neck manipulation directly causes cervical artery dissection and stroke, experts believe patients should be informed about the association.

All-in-One Pill to Prevent Heart Disease?

Aug 08, 2014
A polypill to prevent heart disease has the potential to save millions of lives, according to experts.

Get CardioSmart

You're Invited