The journal of the American Medical Association published a recent comparative study done by researchers from the University of Cincinnati who analyzed results from a telephone survey of people living in greater Cincinnati region.
The survey involved 2170 respondents who were asked to name up to three stroke warning signs and risk factors. This was compared with a similar survey conducted in 1995 to study the changes in public awareness. It was found that 70 percent of respondents correctly named at least one established stroke warning sign vs. 57 percent in 1995 and 72 percent correctly named at least one established stroke risk factor vs. 68 percent in 1995. The researchers however found that those individuals with the highest risk and incidence of stroke, such as persons at least 75 years old, blacks, and men, were the least knowledgeable about warning signs and risk factors. They also identified mass media, including television (32 percent), magazines (24 percent), and newspapers (22 percent) as the most frequently cited sources of knowledge about stroke.
The authors of the article concluded that public education efforts must continue and should focus on groups at the highest risk of stroke as the knowledge of stroke risk factors had not improved significantly since the last survey.