Knowledge and Risk Factors for Stroke Among Undergraduates in Southwestern Nigeria

The burden of non-communicable diseases due to stroke is increasing. Despite this, community based studies that could stimulate stroke primordial prevention among the population at risk are sparse. This study assessed community knowledge and risk factors to stroke among University undergraduates in Osogbo, southwestern Nigeria. A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted among 420 male undergraduates selected through multi-stage sampling method. Research instruments were self-administered semi structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using the SPSS software version 17.0. Four hundred and seven (96.9%) have heard about stroke. Good mean knowledge score of causes, symptoms, warning signs and risk factors of stroke were 62.6%, 61.7% and 42.1% and 56.7% respectively. Three hundred and nine (75.9%) said the body part primarily affected by stroke was the brain, while 35 (8.6%) said it was the kidneys. Only 73(17.9%) perceived that they were at risk of stroke while 33(8.1%) said they could not have stroke. Single risk was found among 43(10.2%), double risk among 334(79.5%) and multiple (>2) risks among 43(10.2%) of respondents. Predictors of good knowledge of risk factors among respondents found on multivariate analysis were older age, having one or both parents having stroke in the past, being a cigarette smoker, and having multiple risk factors to stroke. It was concluded that good awareness, relatively good knowledge of causes, symptoms and risk factors, but poor knowledge of warning signs of stroke was found among studied respondents. Sustained public awareness could bridge existing gap among respondents towards primordial stroke prevention.