The Difference Between a Heart Attack and a Stroke

adult day care

The thought of your loved one having a heart attack or a stroke is scary, and both issues have their own dangers. While heart attacks are more common than strokes (they’re the leading cause of death in the U.S. while strokes are the fifth leading cause), either one can occur in both men and women. There are several differences between the two issues and here, our adult day care company shares the things you should know about both:

Causes

A heart attack can happen when a coronary artery (an artery that supplies blood to the heart) becomes blocked by a blood clot or plaque buildup. This blockage can be a full blockage that stops blood flow entirely or a partial blockage that severely restricts blood flow.

The most common type of stroke, an ischemic stroke, can happen when blood circulation to the brain is cut off. This usually happens when a blood clot or plaque buildup blocks an artery in the brain or an artery that supplies blood to the brain (a carotid artery).

Symptoms

In the case of both heart attacks and strokes, individuals can experience one or more symptom and these symptoms can be mild or severe. This is why it’s important to recognize the warning signs of both issues and take action immediately.

Heart attack warning signs/symptoms:

  • Chest pressure, tightness, and/or heaviness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness/fainting
  • Shoulder, neck, jaw, back, and/or arm pain

Stroke warning signs/symptoms:

  • Numbness/weakness in face and/or arms
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Sudden confusion
  • Vision changes
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Sudden severe headache

Risks

Living a healthy lifestyle (including eating well, exercising regularly, watching your weight, and more) can help prevent a heart attack or a stroke. In addition, a daily dose of aspirin can help reduce the risk of a heart attack in some individuals. Risks for the issues include (but are not limited to):

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Age (risk increases after 45 for men and after 55 for women)
  • Family history
  • Atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm)

Adult Day Care

If your loved one has suffered from a heart attack or stroke that has left them in need of care, New Generations can help. We offer adult day care programs that offer a friendly, comfortable environment, fun activities, proper nutrition, medication management, and more. If you or your loved one are interested in our adult day care, don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more.

Affiliations

Alzheimer's Association Autism Speaks Club Horizons NADSA Miracle League