Is It a Heart Attack or Stroke: How Will You Know?

There is no doubt in the fact that heart attack and stroke are two of the leading life-threatening medical conditions across the world. Immediate medical attention in such severe health complications can prove to be a life saviour. However, both the medical conditions have some similarities and hence are not easily identifiable by people.

In cases whenpeople are not able to identify whether it is a stroke or heart attack, the condition may become more dangerous. Thus, one should at least have a basic idea about their similarities and dissimilarities to avoid any fatal situation.

Below are some of the important things you should know aboutheart attack or stroke for animmediate medical intervention:

What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack is a sudden medical emergency in which the blood flow of coronary artery is blocked. This can happen due to the buildup of fat and cholesterol in the arteries, commonly known as plaque.  Plaque ruptures and leads to subsequent clot formation resulting in complete occlusion of coronary artery. Occlusion of coronary artery leads to damage of heart muscle due to poor oxygen supply. To achieve antegrade flow in clogged artery by angioplasty is the gold standard percentage.

 If not given quick treatment, the part begins to die.

What is a Stroke?

Stroke is a sudden medical emergency in which the blood flow to the brain is blocked or interrupted. This leads to lack of oxygen in the brain tissue resulting in damage. The blood vessel that carries nutrients and oxygen to the brain may burst or get blocked by a clot and lead to stroke.

Similarities betweena Heart Attack and Stroke

Here are some of the situations which are similar in both heart attack and stroke:

  • A sudden onset
  • Caused due to interruptionsofoxygen-rich blood flow
  • Some health symptoms do not improve over the time
  • Both need immediate medical attention
  • Can be fatal
  • Few risk factors are same


Below are the commonsymptoms of both heart attack and stroke. Read them carefully and identify the differences:

Symptoms of a Heart Attack:

  • Pain in the chest with heaviness and burning sensation
  • Feeling light-headed
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe pain in other body parts such as arms, back, neck, jaw and stomach
  • Excessive sweat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Symptoms of a Stroke:

  • Sudden numbness on one side of the body
  • Drooping on one side of the face
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • A severeheadache
  • Dizziness and loss of balance
  • Trouble in memory

If anyone exhibits the above-listed symptoms, they should be immediately taken to the nearest hospital for a quick treatment. Later, the patient can be shifted to a better hospital for specialized treatment. For instance, in case of a heart attack, one can consult a cardiologist in India at hospitals like Max Healthcare for the best possible treatment. If you are living in Delhi, you can find the best cardiac surgeon in Delhi at such hospitals.

Risk Factors

Heart attack and stroke also share some of the common risk factors which are listed below:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol or Drug Abuse
  • Poor Diet
  • Lack of Physical Activity

The Conclusion

Though they share some similar factors, heart attack and stroke are different. The timely identification and treatment is, however, the most important thing one should keep in mind. Awareness and quick action can be a life-saving trick in such serious medical emergencies.

About the Author