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

Does It Cost More to Eat Healthy?

Sep 17, 2013
Increased food costs discourage adults from adhering to blood pressure-lowering diet, according to a recent study.

Innovative Anti-Smoking Campaign a Success

Sep 11, 2013
First federally funded anti-smoking campaign helps smokers quit with tips from former smokers.

E-Cigarettes: Helping Smokers Quit?

Sep 10, 2013
Study finds e-cigarettes are more effective than patches in helping smokers kick the habit for good.

Coca-Cola Family Track Walk in Chicago

Sep 04, 2013
Members of the American College of Cardiology's CardioSmart team will be at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 15 to share tips on heart health and the benefits of an active lifestyle.

Medication Adherence Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Aug 12, 2013
Taking heart medications properly greatly reduces risk for complications and death, study finds.

Caloric Intake of Obese Children is Underestimated

Aug 12, 2013
Study uses model to show obese children consume significantly more calories each day than healthy children.

Study Highlights Need For More AEDs

Aug 09, 2013
Availability of life-saving devices must be widespread in public places.

Echocardiograms Unnecessary for the General Population

Jul 30, 2013
Study finds that a useful heart test has negligible benefit for healthy patients without a family history of heart disease.

Small Restaurants Have Calorie-Packed Items, Too

Jul 30, 2013
Meals from non-chain or small-chain restaurants typically have higher calorie content than their fast-food peers.

Sodium Levels Remain High in Popular Foods

Jul 30, 2013
Study finds little progress in reducing sodium levels of common processed and restaurant foods since 2005.

Skipping Blood Pressure Medication Increases Stroke Risk

Jul 23, 2013
Poor adherence or non-adherence to medication drastically increases stroke risk in patients with high blood pressure.

Noisy Airports May Impact Heart Health of Nearby Residents

Jul 23, 2013
Study shows noise from planes may disrupt sleep, worsening cardiovascular health.

Experts Recognize Obesity as a Disease

Jul 22, 2013
The American Medical Association joins health organizations in acknowledging obesity as a disease, deserving of proper treatment and prevention.

Coffee and Heart Health

Jul 18, 2013
Studies suggest coffee helps protect our hearts, rather than harm them.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Directly Linked to Risk for Sudden Cardiac Death

Jun 11, 2013
A common sleep disorder may significantly increase risk of sudden cardiac death.

Common Painkillers Increase Heart Risks

Jun 07, 2013

Study finds that taking high doses of NSAIDs for prolonged periods of time increases risk for heart attack and stroke.

Vegetarians May Live Longer Than Meat Eaters

Jun 05, 2013
New research confirms that vegetarian dietary patterns can extend longevity.

Mediterranean Diet Could Prevent Memory Loss

Jun 05, 2013
In addition to being heart-healthy, the Mediterranean diet may also help protect our minds.

Novel Ads Encourage Smokers to Ask Their Doctors About Quitting

Jun 05, 2013
A new national campaign aiming to curb smoking rates features real stories from former smokers.

Magnets in iPad 2 May Interfere with Heart Devices

May 28, 2013
A study conducted by a 14-year-old student finds that the iPad 2 interferes with implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

Poor Diet Negatively Impacts Sleep Patterns in Middle-School Children

May 23, 2013
Among children, a link found between diet and sleep may be the key to promoting better heart health as adults.

Smokeless Tobacco Trends in Adolescents

May 16, 2013
Smokeless tobacco use remains unchanged between 2000 and 2011 among middle and high school students.

Pets May Boost Heart Health

May 15, 2013
After a comprehensive review of existing research, experts acknowledge an association between pet ownership and reduced cardiovascular risk.

Fiber Reduces Stroke Risk

May 08, 2013
Study shows increasing dietary fiber intake could drastically reduce risk for stroke.

Heart Patients Slow to Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes

May 08, 2013
Despite benefits, many heart patients fail to adopt healthy lifestyle changes following diagnosis.

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