BACKGROUND: Recurrent stroke is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among stroke survivors. However, studies of the long-term prognosis after acute stroke are very rare, especially in Asia. This study aimed to provide estimates of recurrent stroke rates by age, gender, and subtype of stroke in an unselected cohort of patients hospitalized to a community-based general hospital due to acute stroke. METHODS: Based on a prospective stroke registry, acute stroke patients were enrolled within 7 days of symptom onset and followed retrospectively or prospectively for up to 3 years. Information was gathered about stroke recurrence and other vascular events. The cumulative risk of recurrent stroke was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. RESULTS: Two-thousand and sixty-eight patients were enrolled in this study. The cumulative risks of stroke recurrence were 2.3%, 5.5%, 8.6%, and 10.0% at 90 days and 1, 2, and 3 years, respectively. The prevalence of stroke recurrence increased with age and the presence of previous stroke history (p<0.001), but not with gender or stroke subtype. CONCLUSIONS: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first cohort study of stroke recurrence in Korea. Its limitation of being a single hospital-based study warrants community- or multicenter-based cohort studies to identify high-risk groups for stroke recurrence.