Few studies have evaluated symptoms of stroke in an epidemiologic setting. The only other population-based, longitudinal cohort studies to assess stroke or TIA symptoms are the ARIC study28 and the Renfrew/Paisley Study,29 which evaluated a cohort of residents aged 45 to 64 years from the towns of Renfrew and Paisley in Scotland. The ARIC questionnaire asked whether the participant had ever had a sudden episode that involved any of the following 6 neurologic symptoms: speech dysfunction, loss of vision, double vision, weakness or paralysis, numbness or tingling, and dizziness or loss of balance. Of 12 205 participants, 47% reported the sudden onset of at least 1 stroke symptom during their lifetime.30 In the Renfrew/Paisley Study, 15 113 participants were asked if they had ever experienced, without warning, any of the following 4 symptoms, assumed to be indicative of TIA: suddenly lost power of an arm, suddenly lost power of a leg, suddenly been unable to speak properly, or suddenly lost consciousness.29Table 6 contrasts the prevalence of stroke and TIA symptoms in these 3 studies. Although the prevalence of several symptoms was comparable across studies, differences in the wording of some questions make comparisons problematic. Each study asked about speech problems, with 3.8% of REGARDS participants reporting a sudden loss of ability to express yourself verbally or in writing and 2.6% of ARIC participants reporting a speech dysfunction compared with only 1.8% of the Renfrew/Paisley Study participants reporting the inability to speak properly. The prevalence of weakness was 5.8% in REGARDS, weakness or paralysis prevalence was 2.3% in ARIC, and the prevalence of lost power of an arm or leg was 2.3% and 2.4%, respectively, in the Renfrew/Paisley Study; however, REGARDS specified unilateral symptoms and did not ask about paralysis, whereas ARIC did not restrict symptoms to unilateral events and included paralysis. Both REGARDS and ARIC asked about numbness, reporting an 8.5% prevalence in REGARDS and about twice that in ARIC; however, REGARDS specified unilateral symptoms, whereas ARIC did not. In addition, REGARDS asked about “numbness or a dead feeling,” whereas ARIC asked about “numbness or tingling.” Tingling is a symptom that connotes a peripheral neuropathic process rather than focal cerebral ischemia. Both ARIC and REGARDS asked about visual symptoms; however, the format of these questions makes the results difficult to contrast. Additionally, the presence of 1 or more symptoms was higher in ARIC, largely from the question asking about dizziness (not asked in REGARDS or the Renfrew/Paisley Study); however, it is uncertain whether this finding represents a true difference between the populations or differences in the questions.