The SEPIVAC study is a community-based epidemiological survey of incidence and outcome of transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs) and strokes in the territory of the 6th Local Health Unit, Umbria, Italy, where 49,218 people live, from 1 September 1986 to 31 August 1989. All cases were registered with the study either by notification from general practitioners (GPs) or by a check of hospital admission within the study area and in the two hospitals of Perugia. There were 94 incident cases of TIAs (45 males, 49 females), thus giving a crude rate of 0.64 per 1000 per year [95% conficence intervals (CI) 0.52/0.78]. The rate adjusted to the European population is 0.42 (CI 0.33/0.54). Mean age was 69.4 years, and females were significantly older than males. The weighted relative risk for males was 1.19 (CI 0.79/1.79). Thirty-one patients were treated at home by their GPs. Females had hypertension more frequently than males, whereas males smoked more frequently; we did not find any other statistically significant difference in the distribution of risk factors. Twelve patients out of 58 who had CT had an infarct, and 29 out of 54 submitted to Doppler ultrasonography had carotid stenosis. At 1 month, 4 patients had suffered an ischaemic stroke, 1 of whom died. At 6 months, 3 further strokes and 2 further deaths (1 due to myocardial infarction) had occurred.