Contrasting the Differences and Similarities Between Heart Attacks and Strokes

Essay by shaanHigh School, 10th gradeA+, September 2006

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In this essay I will compare and contrast the differences and similarities between a heart attack and a stroke. A heart is damage and loss of function of an area of the heart muscle. Strokes are sudden episodes of weakness or paralysis that occur when blood flow to the brain is interrupted.

Heart attacks and strokes are two different conditions, but they both have some common elements. In both cases, the restriction of blood flow is the crucial factor in producing life-threatening situations. The main difference between these two conditions is that one affects the heart and one affects the brain. The warning signs of a heart attack are much different than those of a stroke. For example, prior to the actual heart attack there is pain in the chest, arms, and shoulders. Whereas in the case of a stroke the symptoms are numbness or weakness in the legs or arms, headache, loss of coordination and vision problems.

In summary, both heart attacks and strokes result from blood flow problems, but the symptoms or conditions are completely different. Both these conditions are a result of a cardiovascular disease which is responsible for killing over 1 million people a year, and 1 in 5 Americans has some form of this disease. This means that knowing about this quiet killer is very important.