Serum total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and blood pressure were studied among 15-year-old school children in Eastern Finland. The mean serum total cholesterol was 4.47 mmol/l in boys and 4.86 mmol/l in girls; mean HDL-cholesterol was 1.29 mmol/l and 1.46 mmol/l, respectively. The mean blood pressure was 135/65 mmHg in boys and 126/67 mmHg in girls. Obese children had higher blood pressure and lower HDL-cholesterol levels than others. Among boys sexual maturation decreased the HDL-cholesterol level. Children whose parents had histories of cardiovascular disease did not have higher cholesterol or higher blood pressure levels than other children. Children at high risk apparently cannot be screened on the basis of parents' history of cardiovascular diseases.