In a population sample of 1462 women aged 38--60 years, those with overweight were studied separately and compared with the women in the total population sample. Overweight was defined as the upper 5% of a weight index in the various ages studied and the weight index as (formula: see text). Significant differences, with higher values in the overweight women, were found for serum triglycerides, serum uric acid and arterial BP. Smoking was significantly less common in the overweight women. Serum cholesterol was similar in overweight women and in women in the total sample. Higher values for some risk factors for ischaemic heart disease in the overweight group of women thus seemed to be compensated to some extent by a lower number of smokers in this group.