Stroke Myths & Facts

  • MYTH: Only old people have strokes.

    FACT: 1 in 10 strokes occur in people under age 45.

  • MYTH: Strokes occur in the heart.

    FACT: Strokes occur in the brain. Heart attacks occur when an artery supplying blood to the heart is blocked. Strokes occur when either an artery supplying blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot or a blood vessel ruptures, causing bleeding.

  • MYTH: There's no way to prevent a stroke.

    FACT: Up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable. The biggest risk factors for stroke include uncontrolled blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, smoking, obesity and diabetes. Getting those conditions under control lessens your risk of stroke.

  • MYTH: Women don't have strokes.

    FACT: Women have more strokes than men. Stroke is the third leading cause of death for women (fifth for men). Some stroke risk factors for women include pregnancy, using birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy and experiencing migraines with aura.