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Difference Between Stroke and Heart Attack

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

The human body is one of the most complex mechanisms known to mankind. Until now, many scientists have been trying to fully study the work of the brain and other internal human systems. But despite the complexity, the human body can fail due to the smallest violations. Two of these disorders are heart attack and stroke.

Minimal disturbances within the body often cause these two diseases. But these violations have catastrophic consequences. And if a person does not receive the necessary help in time, these diseases will lead to death.

But heart attack and stroke are often confused due to similar symptoms. This “stroke vs heart attack” article will tell you about the key differences between these two diseases. Read the article to the end to distinguish between these two states.

what is a stroke

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is a medical emergency when the blood flow to the brain is disrupted. This can happen when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain. Or it can happen when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds into the brain tissue.

Brain cells begin to die when the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen. It can lead to permanent brain damage or even death.

Prompt medical attention is crucial when it comes to treating a stroke. Treatment can involve:

  • Medication to dissolve blood clots.
  • Surgery to remove a blood clot or repair a ruptured blood vessel.
  • Rehabilitation to help the patient recover and regain function.

Preventing a stroke involves managing risk factors. Also, making healthy lifestyle changes can be great. In the following blocks, we will look at:

  • What the symptoms of a stroke are.
  • Causes of condition.
  • Risk factors of disease.


Often, the symptoms of the disease may differ depending on the severity of the condition. But doctors identify several common signs of the disease:

  • Weakness in the face.
  • Weakness in arms and legs on one side.
  • Speech difficulties.
  • Impaired vision.
  • Balance disorders.


The most common cause of a stroke is a blockage in a blood vessel in the brain. It is also known as ischemic stroke. It goes away when a blood clot forms in an artery. This artery supplies the brain with blood. But the blood clot interferes with the transport of blood to the brain.

Risk Factors

What the risk factors for the stroke are:

  • High pressure.
  • Diabetes.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Smoking.
  • Excess weight.
  • Age above 55 years.

what ia a heart attack

What Is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack is also known as a myocardial infarction. It occurs when the blood flow to the heart is blocked, usually by a blood clot. This blockage prevents the heart from receiving enough oxygen. It can damage or destroy heart muscle.

Today, there are many symptoms of a heart attack. It is vital to distinguish these symptoms to get the most affordable treatment. And prompt medical attention is crucial when treating a heart attack. Treatment can involve medications, procedures to open blocked arteries, and rehabilitation.

It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider if you have any heart attack concerns. In the next blocks of this “stroke vs heart attack” article we will look at:

  • What symptoms of heart attack are.
  • Causes. 
  • Risk Factors.


The symptoms of a heart attack can vary. But doctors have identified several common symptoms:

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest.
  • Dyspnea.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Dizziness.
  • Pain or discomfort in the arms, neck, jaw, or back.


A blockage in one or more coronary arteries is the most common cause of a heart attack. Most often, some plaques are deposited in the arteries. During the rupture of the plaques, a vessel blockage occurs, often leading to a person’s death. That is why it is important to consider risk factors since the disease can happen to anyone at any age.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for a heart attack:

  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Smoking.
  • Obesity.
  • Lack of physical activity.
  • Age (over 55 for women and over 45 for men).
  • Diabetes.

What other risk factors of heart attack are:

  • Stress.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Lupus.

Key Differences Between a Stroke and a Heart Attack

Both conditions can be serious and potentially life-threatening. But they have distinct differences in:

  • The location of the problem.
  • Causes.
  • Symptoms.
  • Treatment.

It’s vital to be aware of the differences between the two conditions. You’ll receive the most accurate treatment by understanding the difference between the conditions. This can help a person at the most necessary moment when minutes count.

And it’s vital to seek immediate medical attention if any symptoms occur. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can help cut the long-term effects of these conditions. In the next blocks of this “stroke vs heart attack” article we will look at:

  • Location of the problem.
  • Causes. 
  • Symptoms.
  • Treatment.

Location of the Problem

One of the main differences between the two diseases is the location of the problem. Stroke appears in the brain. At the same time, a heart attack can only occur in the heart. As a result, completely different symptoms and causes of the disease can follow from this. Let’s look at a comparison of causes.


Typical bad habits like smoking and drinking can often lead to problems. Also, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes can lead to both diseases. But each of the diseases also has its causes. The cause of a stroke is a blockage in a blood vessel or a rupture of a blood vessel in the brain. In contrast, the cause of a heart attack may be plaque buildup in the coronary arteries. But it is not enough to know the cause of the disease. It is also very important to understand the differences between the symptoms of stroke and heart attack.


In some cases, the symptoms may overlap. But most often, you can independently distinguish between the symptoms of two diseases.

Stroke symptoms:

  • Sudden numbness.
  • Weakness or paralysis on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion or speaking or understanding speech problems.
  • Loss of vision in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden difficulty walking, dizziness, or loss of balance.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Heart attack symptoms:  

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest.
  • Pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath, nausea, and sweating.

As a result, the symptoms of the two diseases significantly differ.


Typically, both conditions need emergency medical attention. Treatment for a stroke may include medication to dissolve blood clots. Surgery may also clear a blockage or repair a ruptured blood vessel. Treatment for a heart attack may include medication to dissolve blood clots. And surgery can open a blocked artery.

how to prevent a stroke

How to Prevent a Stroke or a Heart Attack

Preventing involves making lifestyle changes and managing risk factors. Here are some stroke vs heart attack” tips for reducing your risks:

  1. Manage High Blood Pressure. High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for stroke and heart attack. Work with your healthcare provider to check your blood pressure. And take steps to manage it through medication or lifestyle changes.
  2. Quit Smoking. Smoking increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help you quit. They are nicotine replacement therapy, medications, and support groups.
  3. Maintain a Healthy Diet. A healthy diet with vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats is great. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and foods high in saturated and trans fats.
  4. Exercise Regularly. Regular exercise helps lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve heart health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. Or try 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise each week.
  5. Manage Diabetes. Diabetes is a significant risk factor for stroke and heart attack. Work with your healthcare provider to manage your blood sugar levels. You can do it through medication, diet, and exercise.
  6. Control Cholesterol Levels. High levels of cholesterol can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. Work with your healthcare provider to check your cholesterol levels. And take steps to manage them through medication, diet, and exercise.
  7. Limit Alcohol Consumption. Drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure. It raises the risk of stroke and heart attack. Limit your alcohol consumption to one drink per day for women and two for men.
  8. Manage Stress. Chronic stress can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. Find healthy ways to manage stress. It can be exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones.

Preventing a stroke or heart attack needs healthy lifestyle changes. By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of these conditions. Always talk to the doctor with any concerns or questions about conditions. 


As a result of our “stroke vs heart attack” article, they can be quite similar diseases. But they can also be distinguished. Understanding the difference between symptoms, the cause, and the risk factors is vital. This can help determine an accurate diagnosis. This way, the doctor can prescribe the right treatment for you in case of a condition.


  • How can you tell the difference between a stroke and a heart attack?

The main difference between a stroke and a heart attack is the location of the problem. A stroke occurs in the brain, while a heart attack occurs in the heart. Thus the symptoms of a stroke are usually related to the brain. And the symptoms of a heart attack are usually related to the chest and upper body.

  • What are the 5 warning signs of a stroke?

The five warning signs of a stroke are:

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech.
  3. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
  • Is a heart attack or stroke more severe?

Both are serious medical conditions that need prompt medical attention. The severity of each condition can depend on several factors. It includes:

  1. The location and extent of the damage.
  2. The length of time between onset and treatment.
  3. The health and medical history of the individual.
  • What are 3 signs of a stroke?

Three signs of a stroke are:

  1. Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg.
  2. Confusion, speaking or understanding speech problems.
  3. Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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