It has been suggested by the UK's 2007 National Stroke strategy for England (NSSFE) that general population awareness is high for coronary heart disease (CHD) but low for stroke. This was investigated in the present study. One hundred eighty-two members of the general public completed a questionnaire about understanding of stroke/CHD. Data were analysed using ANOVA, t-tests and chi square. The main findings were that although members of the general public understood some of the main aspects of stroke and CHD, there was more awareness of general facts about CHD than stroke but symptoms of stroke were better identified compared to CHD. Therefore, our findings only partially supported the NSSFE view.