Finnish men have higher coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality than Swedish men do. To assess the impact of migration to a country with lower CHD mortality on subclinical atherosclerosis, we measured early functional and structural atherosclerotic vascular changes in twins discordant for migration from Finland to Sweden. Conventional CHD risk factors, flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery, carotid intima-media thickness, and carotid artery compliance were measured in 74 male twin pairs (20 monozygous, 54 dizygous), aged 42 to 69 years, in which co-one twin had migrated more than 20 years ago permanently to Sweden. There were no significant differences in CHD risk factors except for diastolic blood pressure and body fat percentage, which were higher in Sweden. In all subjects, mean FMD was non-significantly higher in Sweden (5.7+/-4.3% vs 4.9+/-4.2%, P=0.22), but in monozygous twins the difference in FMD was highly significant (7.2+/-4.4 vs 3.7+/-2.9%, P=0.003). There was no significant difference in intima-media thickness or carotid artery compliance between Sweden and Finland. We conclude that in Finnish monozygous twins the endothelial function is better among the twins that have migrated to a country with lower CHD prevalence.