Background This study compared the risk factors for and incidence of stroke among 14 European countries by using the Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Methods The analysis was based on data collected during 2006 to 2007 from Wave 2 of SHARE and panel data from respondents interviewed during 2004 to 2005. Results and Conclusion The highest stroke incidence rates were found in Denmark, Poland, and Sweden; these incidence rates were more than double that of Spain. Stroke was mostly associated with elderly people (age, ≥65 years) in Sweden, France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Greece. In addition, stroke incidence was high among young males (age, <65 years) in Italy and elderly males in Germany and Switzerland. A negative association was found between stroke and vigorous exercise for younger people in Sweden and elderly people in Poland, whereas moderate exercise was significantly associated with stroke only for elderly Belgians, Greeks, and Irish.
Keywords: European countries; SHARE; incidence of stroke; risk factors; stroke.