Heart Disease and Stroke: How Are They Related?

Sometimes you can hear heart disease and stroke mentioned in the same sentence.  However, it’s not always clear how these two conditions are related.  It can help to understand exactly what a stroke is to understand the relationship.

A stroke is often referred to as a “brain attack” because it is just as severe and life threatening as a heart attack. This is most often caused by blockage of a blood vessel in the brain that causes blood flow to a specific area to stop.

This is called an “ischemic stroke.” The other type of stroke is called a “hemorrhagic stroke.”  This occurs when a blood vessel bursts in the brain.  When this happens the vessels bleed into the brain.

Heart disease and stroke are related because they’re both caused by the deterioration of the blood vessels.  Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, can lead to both conditions.  Continue reading “Heart Disease and Stroke: How Are They Related?” »