Open Access Research article

Stroke knowledge among diabetics: a cross-sectional study on the influence of age, gender, education, and migration status

Birgitta M Weltermann*, Youcef Driouach-Bleckmann, Sabrina Reinders, Peter Berndt and Stefan Gesenhues

Author Affiliations

Institute for General Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstr 55, 45122 Essen, Germany

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BMC Neurology 2013, 13:202  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-13-202

Published: 14 December 2013



Stroke campaigns are educating about the need to immediately contact the emergency medical system if symptoms occur. Despite higher stroke rates among patients with diabetics and some migrant populations, there are few data about stroke knowledge in these groups.


We performed a cross-sectional questionnaire survey among 250 diabetes patients from Germany and Turkey in a primary care and diabetes practice center. The two-page questionnaire asked for stroke knowledge and socio-demographic data. Also, medical and communication data were obtained. Stroke knowledge was defined as good if a participant knew (1) at least two stroke symptoms (good symptom knowledge) and (2) that immediate hospital admission or an emergency call is necessary in case of stroke symptoms (good action knowledge).


A total of 231 of 250 patients took part in the survey (participation rate 92.4%) with 134 natives (53.6%), 84 migrants from Turkey (33.6%) and 13 migrants (5.2%) from other countries. Comparing natives and migrants from Turkey good symptom knowledge was documented in 52.8% of the participants, good action knowledge in 67.9%, and good stroke knowledge in nearly forty percent (39.4%) of patients (n = 218). A logistic regression analysis showed better stroke knowledge if patients were younger than 61 years, had good language abilities and were living in an one-generation household (p < 0.05), while gender, years since migration and diabetes control did not play a role.


We documented stroke knowledge deficits among patients with diabetes, both natives and migrants. Additional information strategies for these high risk populations are needed.

Health education; Stroke knowledge, Diabetes; Migrants’ health