Stroke knowledge in African Americans: A narrative review

Anjail Z. Sharrief, Brenda Johnson, Sharon Abada, Victor C. Urrutia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this review is to evaluate the state of knowledge in regard to stroke literacy in African Americans. This topic is important for assessing the specific gaps in stroke knowledge for this population, as well as to evaluate the methodology that has been used to assess stroke literacy. Methods: This narrative review includes studies that evaluated and reported stroke knowledge in African Americans and were published between January 2000 and October 2015. Results: Our review revealed that disparities may exist in recognition of headache and visual symptoms, knowledge of the organ in which stroke occurs, and identification of tobacco use as a risk factor. Stress may be perceived as a more important risk factor among African Americans than among White Americans. The literature does not suggest disparities in knowledge of the appropriate action to take for stroke. Conclusions: Racial disparities may exist for specific domains of stroke knowledge. Future studies should explore specific gaps in knowledge to be addressed in stroke prevention interventions for African Americans. Standardization of methods is needed to aid comparisons across populations. The relationship between stroke knowledge and clinical outcomes also needs to be evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-262
Number of pages8
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • African Americans
  • Health Care Disparities
  • Minority Health
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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