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NHLBI

What Causes a Stroke?

Buildup of plaque and blood clots causing blockage of an artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain can cause an ischemic stroke, while sudden bleeding from causes such as high blood pressure can result in a hemorrhagic stroke.

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NHLBI

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke?

The signs and symptoms of a stroke vary. They often develop quickly and may include sudden weakness, paralysis, confusion, trouble speaking, changes in vision, trouble breathing, dizziness, loss of consciousness, and a sudden severe headache. After you’ve had a stroke, you may develop other complications such as blood clots, muscle weakness, problems swallowing, pneumonia, and loss of bladder control.

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NHLBI

How Can a Stroke Be Prevented?

Taking action to control your risk factors—through staying physically active, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, making heart-healthy eating choices, and managing stress—can help prevent a stroke, or if you’ve already had a stroke, prevent another one.

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NHLBI

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. Sudden cardiac arrest usually causes death if it's not treated within minutes.

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NHLBI

Who Is at Risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

The risk of sudden cardiac arrest increases with age and is higher in men and may be higher in blacks. The major risk factor for sudden cardiac arrest is coronary heart disease, but there are other risk factors such as known arrhythmia or personal or family history of sudden cardiac arrest or heritable forms of arrhythmia.

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NHLBI

Causes of High Blood Pressure

Changes, either from genes or the environment, in the body’s normal functions may cause high blood pressure, including changes to kidney fluid and salt balances, the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, sympathetic nervous system activity, and blood vessel structure and function.

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NHLBI

Types of Cardiomyopathy

The types of cardiomyopathy include hypertrophic, dilated, restrictive, arrhythmogenic right ventricular, and unclassified cardiomyopathy.

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NHLBI

How Can Cardiomyopathy Be Prevented?

You can't prevent inherited types of cardiomyopathy. You can take steps to lower your risk for diseases or conditions that may lead to or complicate cardiomyopathy through avoiding alcohol and illegal drugs, getting enough sleep, heart-healthy eating, physical activity, quitting smoking, and managing stress.

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NHLBI

Who is at Risk for Coronary Heart Disease?

Certain traits, conditions, or habits may raise your risk for coronary heart disease. Major risk factors include unhealthy blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, smoking, insulin resistance, diabetes, overweight or obesity, metabolic syndrome, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, older age, and a family history of early coronary heart disease.

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NHLBI

Living With Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease can cause serious complications. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, along with ongoing care and emotional support, may help you prevent or delay coronary heart disease and resulting complications. Know the heart attack warning signs and call 9–1–1 for emergency help if you think you are having a heart attack.

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