The Connection between Heart Health and Stroke: What You Need to Know

May 1, 2024

Heart health and stroke are linked, with one impacting the other. It’s essential to understand how heart health influences stroke risk and what steps to take in the event of a stroke.

The Relationship between Heart Health and Stroke: The heart and brain are connected through a complex network of blood vessels. When the heart is not functioning optimally, it can lead to conditions such as high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and atherosclerosis, all of which increase the risk of stroke. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted, either due to a blockage (ischemic stroke) or bleeding (hemorrhagic stroke). Poor heart health can contribute to the development of conditions like atrial fibrillation, which significantly increases the risk of blood clots that can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.

Recognizing the Signs of a Stroke: It’s crucial to recognize the signs of a stroke and act quickly. Remember the acronym FAST:

  • Face: Is one side of the face drooping?
  • Arms: Is one arm weak or numb?
  • Speech: Is speech slurred or difficult to understand?
  • Time: Time to call emergency services immediately if you observe any of these signs.
Use the letters in F.A.S.T. to spot storke signs. Save to your phone or tablet to revisit if needed.

What to Do in the Event of a Stroke: If you suspect someone is having a stroke, call emergency services immediately. While waiting for help to arrive, stay with the person and keep them calm. Do not give them anything to eat or drink. If they are conscious, help them sit or lie down in a comfortable position.

Visit Our Website to Learn More: At Catholic Health Services, we understand the critical importance of stroke awareness and prevention. Our medical rehabilitation hospitals are all stroke certified by the Joint Commission, ensuring that patients receive the highest quality care in the event of a stroke. Visit our website to learn more about our stroke certified programs and how we can support you or your loved ones on the journey to recovery.

Maintaining heart health is essential for reducing the risk of stroke. By understanding the relationship between heart health and stroke, recognizing the signs of a stroke, and knowing what to do in the event of an emergency, we can take proactive steps to protect our health and well-being. Remember, acting fast can make all the difference when it comes to stroke.