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JAMA Patient Page
April 23/30, 2014

Warning Signs of a Stroke

JAMA. 2014;311(16):1704. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2296

A stroke happens when part of the brain is damaged because of either the blockage of a blood vessel or the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain.

A stroke can happen in one of 2 ways: a blood vessel in the brain can either get blocked (cutting off blood flow; called ischemic stroke) or start bleeding (called hemorrhagic stroke). Strokes caused by blockage are much more common than strokes caused by bleeding. Things that increase the risk of having a stroke include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation, and lack of physical activity. Therefore, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking medications for any of these other medical conditions will lower your risk of stroke.

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