Between 1991-93 a specially trained team of nurses screened 19, 435 subjects from various workforces in different regions of Scotland to identify cardiovascular disease risk factor levels in the Scottish working population. The regions visited provided a wide geographical spread. Name, age, occupation, social class, personal and family history of cardiovascular disease were recorded along with consumption of tobacco, alcohol and salt. Height and weight were measured and Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated; systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure, blood glucose and blood cholesterol were also measured. The proportion of social class I - IV in men studied was 49, 22, 22, and 7% respectively and in women 28, 29, 39 and 5%. Fifty two per cent of men and 61 % of women had never smoked and 24% of men and 17% of women had previously stopped smoking. Twenty one per cent of both sexes were still smoking. Eighteen per cent of men drank more than 21 units of alcohol per week and 3.4% of women drank more than 14 units per week. Mean values of SBP and DBP increased with age and the percentage with hypertension (≥ 148/90 mm Hg) in men and women was 5% and 24% respectively. Mean BMI was slightly higher in men than women (25.3 and 24.5 respectively) and there was a significant (p < 0. 01) rise in BMI with age in both sexes. Forty six per cent of men and 32% of women were classified as overweight (BMI > 25) while 9% of men and 9% of women were classified as obese (BMI > 30). Twenty eight per cent of men and 22% of women added salt at table without tasting food. Mean values of total cholesterol in men and women were 5.36 and 5.40 mmol/l respectively increasing with age in both sexes. The percentage of men and women with a random blood sugar level ≥ 8 mmol/l (probable diabetics) was 1.9% and 1.2% respectively. Of the three major risk factors (current cigarette smoking, hypertension (≥ 148/90) and hypercholesterolaemia using total cholesterol > 6.5 mmol/l) 64% of men and 66% of women revealed none of these risk factors, 34% of men and 32% of women had one, 9% of men and 6% of women had two, and 0.20% of men and 0.14% of women had three risk factors. Using total cholesterol ≥ 7.8 mmol/l, 69% of men and 72% of women revealed none of the above risk factors, 30% of men and 27% of women had one, 6% of men and 4% of women had two, and 0.10% of men and 0.02% of women had three risk factors. The present study illustrates that cardiovascular risk factors in this randomly selected Scottish working population were lower than expected.