The hypothesis that cardiovascular risk factors might be of importance in the development of sensori-neural hearing loss was tested in a material of 1000 fifty-year-old men. No significant correlations were found. The present study confirmed the well-known observation that the left ear usually is poorer than the right. Hearing loss in the right ear was found to be related to the smoking habits in the groups with no history of noise exposure. The explanation for this is discussed. Hearing loss was more common in social class 3 than in the other social classes. This difference was principally referable to noise exposure but also to conductive hearing loss. A prospective study of this material will further analyze the question concerning a possible relationship between cardiovascular risk factors and hearing loss.