INTRODUCTION: The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has a high rate of cardiovascular disease. Risk factors of cardiovascular disease have not been well studied in young adults. There are reasons to believe that the prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors may be higher in young adults residing in rural versus urban settings.METHODS: 540 men and women, ages 18 to 34 years and residing in urban and rural areas of Newfoundland and Labrador were compared for cigarette smoking and for body size. Both body mass index and waist circumference measures were used to indicate body size. Education level and family income were also studied. Data were collected via personal interview as part of a larger study, Nutrition Newfoundland and Labrador.RESULTS: No difference was noted between the 2 groups in regular smoking or BMI. More female rural residents had a waist circumference above the accepted cut-off compared with female urban residents (32.5% v. 17.0%).CONCLUSION: Young adults in urban and rural areas both experience high rates of modifiable risk factors for CVD. Some may be more prevalent in rural areas. Prevention programs should include young adults, especially those residing in rural areas.