Abstract TP172: Analysis of Stroke Risk and Risk Factor Awareness in Samoa
Background: The prevalence of stroke in Samoa is extremely high due to high rates of risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Stroke remains the leading cause of death in Samoa. We hypothesized that poor knowledge of stroke risk factors and warning signs contributes to high stroke prevalence in Samoa, such that widespread dissemination of information might induce lifestyle changes (e.g. diet and exercise) and cause more people to seek treatment for stroke.
Methods: We enrolled a series of English-speaking Samoan adults age 25- 65 (mean=45) on the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital inpatient service from January to April, 2012. Because they were inpatients, they tended to be at a higher stroke risk than the general population. Detailed interviews were conducted regarding knowledge of stroke risk factors and warning signs and assessment of personal stroke risk. Participants’ cerebrovascular risk was categorized as high, moderate or low based on their risk factors. Participants were informed of their stroke risk, ways to reduce stroke risk, warning signs and what to do in the event of stroke.
Results: Of 19 adults interviewed, 8 were categorized as “high risk”, 3 as “moderate risk” and 8 as “low risk.” Participants were able to name a mean of 0.74 risk factors for stroke and mean of 1.2 warning signs. 21% incorrectly named stress as a common risk factor. The most common risk factors correctly named were obesity/unhealthy diet (23.8%) and diabetes (15.8%). There was no association between stroke risk classification and participant’s belief that they were at risk of stroke (chi square=1.6; ns); 50% of high-risk participants and 25% of low risk patients believed they were at risk of having a stroke. High-risk participants, compared to low-risk participants, had a slightly higher knowledge of both stroke risk factors (mean=1 vs. 0.25) and warning signs (2 vs. 0.63).
Conclusion: In Samoa, knowledge of stroke risk factors and warning signs is very low. It is likely that many Samoans receive health information after developing medical conditions; thus, high-risk individuals tend to have slightly higher knowledge. We aim to conduct a larger study with follow-up interviews to determine the impact of education.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.