Harvard Heart Letter

Stroke after a heart attack: What’s the risk?

In the first year after a heart attack, survivors face an elevated risk of both types of stroke: those caused by a clot blocking a brain artery (ischemic) and those that occur when a blood vessel leaks or ruptures (hemorrhagic). But in the following years, only the risk of ischemic stroke remains higher than average. Heart attacks and ischemic strokes have nearly identical risk factors, including high blood pressure, diabetes, unhealthy cholesterol levels, lack of exercise, obesity, and cigarette smoking. 
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