We present the profile of risk factors, etiologic and clinical data of 2,000 consecutive patients with first-ever-in-a-lifetime stroke (cerebral infarction, cerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage), admitted to the Ege University Hospital between January 1, 1991, and September 31, 1995. This hospital-based registry is the first systematic epidemiologic report on the stroke profile of Turkish people. The Ege University Stroke Unit is the only tertiary medical care facility which is organized for patients with different stroke subtypes in izmir, Turkey. A prospective hospital-based registry using systematic computer coding of data of all stroke patients has been used since January 1991. All patients were evaluated by clinical examination, CT and/or MRI, color duplex and specific cardiac investigations. They were followed up for at least 6 months. The mean age was 62.3 +/- 12 years, and 44.4% were females. Ischemic stroke was found in 77%, primary intracerebral hemorrhage in 19% and subarachnoid hemorrhage in 4%. The major risk factor of ischemic stroke was hypertension (63%), followed by hypercholesterolemia (37%), diabetes mellitus (35%), ischemic heart disease (23%), atrial fibrillation (20%) and smoking (17%). The main cause of primary intracerebral hemorrhage was hypertension (88%), and the principal localization was the thalamus (38%), followed by putamen (28 %), lobar (16 %), pens (6 %), cerebellar (4%), primary intraventricular hemorrhage (4%) and multiple hemorrhages (2%). The overall 30-day case-fatality rate was 19.7% and the higher mortality rate was found in patients with primary intracerebral hemorrhage (29%) than in those with ischemic stroke (17%). The Ege Stroke Registry allows to estimate the stroke-related problems in patients admitted to a stroke unit and to evaluate the risk factors, etiology and clinical manifestations of stroke in Turkey.