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Stroke vs. Heart Attack

Published On Mar 22, 2023 10:00 AM By InsuranceDekho

Heart attack and stroke are life-threatening diseases common among people of all age groups. According to the reports, millions of people, including children, die every year due to this critical illness. A heart attack is often confused with a stroke, and vice versa. However, there is a big difference between them. Despite the fact that both illnesses are caused by a lack of blood flow, they may have different symptoms. An unexpected and severe headache is a common sign of a stroke. A stroke is often known as a "brain attack." Contrarily, a heart attack frequently starts with chest pain. Read on to learn the difference between a stroke and a heart attack, along with other necessary details. 

Stroke vs Heart Attack

What is a Stroke? 

A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs due to brain damage. In simple terms, it happens when a blood vessel in the brain bursts and bleeds or when the blood supply to the brain is cut off. As a result, blood and oxygen cannot reach the brain's tissues because of the rupture or obstruction. 

What Causes a Stroke? 

The three types of stroke are Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke, and Hemorrhagic Stroke can hit a person. Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke that occurs in individuals when circulation to the brain is blocked by a blood clot in a brain artery. 

Hemorrhagic strokes are the other common type of stroke. This happens when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, allowing blood to seep into the nearby tissue. A hemorrhagic stroke can be brought on by high blood pressure which puts strain on the walls of your arteries.

Symptoms of Stroke 

The symptoms of a stroke are outlined in the section below. 

  1. Dizziness and loss of balance
  2. Weakness and numbness in the limbs and one side of the body
  3. Blurred vision in one or both eyes
  4. Poor communication
  5. Unbearable headache 

What is a Heart Attack? 

Myocardial infarctions, generally known as heart attacks, are common in India. The most common indicator of a heart attack is chest discomfort. However, there may also be additional signs and symptoms, such as dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath. The severity and subtlety of symptoms can vary from person to person. 

What Causes a Heart Attack? 

Coronary heart disease is the main reason for heart attacks. The arteries that supply the heart with blood are where cholesterol accumulates. Atherosclerosis is another name for the widespread accumulation of plaque in arteries. Mainly, there are two types of heart attacks that are discussed below: 

  • Type I Heart Attack: When plaque on the artery's inner wall ruptures, cholesterol and other chemicals are released into the bloodstream, resulting in type I heart attacks. As a result, the artery may become blocked by a blood clot.
  • Type II Heart Attack: An artery is not completely blocked, but the heart does not receive the amount of oxygen-rich blood that it requires, resulting in a Type II heart attack. 

Symptoms of a Heart Attack 

Listed below are the common symptoms of a heart attack. 

  1. Shortness of breath
  2. Pain and discomfort in the chest
  3. Pain in the arm, shoulder, or neck
  4. Nausea and sweating
  5. Weakness and dizziness
  6. Fatigue and upper body pain 

Diagnosis of Heart Attack and Stroke 

If you see any of the stroke or heart attack symptoms, visit the doctor as early as possible. The medical practitioner will ask a few questions about your symptoms and medical history. Most likely, a brain CT scan will be performed to highlight the parts of the brain that are suffering from insufficient blood flow and brain bleeding. A doctor may also prescribe that you undergo an MRI examination. 

New diagnostic processes are followed to detect a heart attack. Your doctor will still ask you about your symptoms and medical history. Further, an ECG is performed to determine the condition of your heart muscle.

In order to look for enzymes that signify a heart attack, a blood test is also performed. Cardiac catheterization may also be carried out by your doctor to examine blockages. 

Tips to Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke 

Here are some tips to help you stay away from a heart attack or stroke.

  1. Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in a healthy range. 
  2. Maintain a healthy weight. 
  3. Avoid drinking alcohol and say no to smoking. 
  4. Keep your sugar level under control. 
  5. Intake of a healthy diet. 
  6. Do exercise and other physical activity at least thrice a week. 

Importance of Heart Attack and Stroke Health Insurance

Heart attack and stroke are critical illnesses that bring a lot of financial burden for you and your loved ones. Therefore, if you are covered under a health insurance policy that provides coverage for heart attack and stroke. The health insurance company will take care of the medical bills and other expenses incurred during the treatment of these diseases. 


In conclusion, heart attack and stroke are critical illnesses that can happen to anyone at any time. Visit your doctor without a second thought if you see any of the symptoms discussed above. Furthermore, ensure that you purchase a health insurance policy to keep yourself financially protected against any medical emergency that may arise in the future.

Also Read: 

Importance of Cancer Insurance


This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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