The Particulars: Previous studies suggest that enhanced knowledge of stroke risk factors among high-risk patients may improve stroke outcomes. Little is known about the level or impact of patient knowledge in this area.

Data Breakdown: Researchers studied 100 patients within 12 hours of admission to a coronary or intermediate cardiovascular care unit. Stroke was defined by 29% of patients as a “blood clot,” by 14% as hemorrhage, by 16% as “some sort of brain problem,” and another definition by 8%; 13% did not know. Limb weakness was recognized as a sign or symptom of stroke by 27% of patients. Fewer patients recognize speech problems, cognitive alterations, headache, and visual abnormalities as signs. Only 54% of patients reported that they would call an ambulance if these symptoms developed.

Take Home Pearls: High-risk patients with previous or current cardiovascular disease appear to have low knowledge about stroke. Stroke prevention and awareness efforts are warranted for these patients.