Background. Community knowledge of stroke risk factors and prevention in Germany is poor. Therefore, the municipal Health Conference of Düsseldorf city, capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Public Health authority commissioned the Institute of Public Health NRW (lögd) to carry out a telephone survey. The aim was to assess community knowledge of stroke risk factors and self-reported prevalence of established risk factors. Methods. The study population was defined as comprising all residents in the city of Düsseldorf of at least 18 years of age (approx. 485,000 people). The sample of 1,318 persons was drawn randomly and the telephone survey was carried out by the CATI Laboratory (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews) at the Institute of Public Health (lögd, Bielefeld) between 12 October and 17 November 2004. At the same time, the SUZ GmbH (Sozialwissenschaftliches Umfragezentrum) carried out the identical survey in the Turkish language with citizens of Turkish descent (n=310). Results. The majority of respondents named smoking as a risk factor [46.2%, German sample (GS) 53.1%, Turkish sample (TS) 16.5%], while hypertension was mentioned by 33.9% of participants (GS 37.8%, TS 17.3%). Only one-third of the Turkish respondents could name at least one risk factor, as compared to about 82% of the German participants. Overweight (47.9%) and smoking (31.4%) were the most frequently reported risk factors concerning respondents. The main target groups for stroke prevention are men, "underclass"/ lower socio-economic status, elderly people (>65 years) and immigrants of Turkish descent. Conclusion. The present study demonstrates the need for stroke prevention and information aimed at specific target groups. Since 2003, the regional network "Healthy Lower Rhine" carries out broad prevention campaigns and the city of Düsseldorf, capital of NRW, established a Stroke Information Bureau for community health education. Local surveys play a central part in health planning and prevention on a municipal level.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health