Akita Prefecture has an especially high mortality rate from stroke, and its age-adjusted death rate from stroke is the highest in Japan. We have carried out an epidemiological survey of cardio- and cerebrovascular diseases (CVD) in farming villages in this prefecture since 1963, with a response rate of 84%. During our 8-year follow-up, 94 new stroke cases were observed among 1,814 subjects. Multiple logistic function analysis was carried out on nonstroke and stroke cases from subjects aged 40 to 69 years at time of initial examination, in order to clarify the risk factors for stroke. The analysis used eight variables: age, sex, systolic blood pressure, obesity index, urinary sugar, urinary protein, serum total cholesterol, and total protein. The results showed that hypertension was the most important risk factor for stroke. However, regarding cholesterol, multivariate analysis showed that among men and women aged 40 to 69 years at entry, subjects with low serum total cholesterol levels were more prone to cerebral hemorrhage, but that serum cholesterol level had no weight as a risk factor for cerebral infarction. These results correspond well with the observed fact that stroke incidence or death rate in Japan is higher in populations with high prevalence of hypertension and low concentration of cholesterol, and also with the fact that death rate from hemorrhage declines with the increment of serum total cholesterol and the westernization of diet.