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Stroke symptoms common among general population

er scores indicating a greater risk for stroke.

A total of 3,292 (17.8 percent) of the participants reported having had one or more stroke symptoms. Eight and one-half percent reported sudden numbness on one side of the body; 5.8 percent sudden weakness on one side of the body; 4.6 percent sudden vision loss in one or both eyes; 2.7 percent sudden loss of the ability to understand what others were saying; and 3.8 percent suddenly could not express themselves in speech or writing.

African Americans and those with lower incomes, less education, poorer health status and higher stroke risk scores were more likely to have had stroke symptoms. "The last finding suggests that at least some of these symptoms may represent stroke events that did not reach the threshold required for clinical diagnosis," the authors write. "These undiagnosed or unrecognized events could have a substantial impact on cognitive functioning or personality and could also be powerful harbingers of subsequent major strokes."

It is not known whether these individuals visited a physician for their symptoms, but previous studies have shown that many people do not seek medical care for stroke symptoms and if they do, they do not seek it immediately. "Targeted education on the warning signs of stroke and risk factor reduction efforts for individuals who report stroke symptoms may be helpful in improving early recognition and in the prevention of stroke," the authors conclude.
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Source:JAMA and Archives Journals


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