Although atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is 5 to 30 times that of the general population, few data exist comparing ASCVD risk factors among new dialysis patients to the general population. This cross-sectional study of 1041 dialysis patients describes the prevalence of ASCVD risk factors at the beginning of ESRD compared with estimates of ASCVD risk factors in the adult US population derived from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHANES III). CHOICE Study participants had a high prevalence of diabetes (54%), hypertension (96%), left ventricular hypertrophy by electrocardiogram (EKG) criteria (22%), low physical activity (80%), hypertriglyceridemia (36%), and low HDL cholesterol (33%). CHOICE participants were more likely to be older, black, and male than NHANES III participants. After adjustment for age, race, gender, and ASCVD (defined as myocardial infarction, revascularization procedure, stroke, carotid endarterectomy, and amputation in CHOICE; and as myocardial infarction and stroke in NHANES III), the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy by EKG, low physical activity, low HDL cholesterol, and hypertriglyceridemia were still more common in CHOICE participants. Smoking, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and high LDL cholesterol, however, were less common in CHOICE than NHANES III participants. The projected 5-yr ASCVD risk based on the Framingham Risk Equation among those older than 40 yr without ASCVD was higher in CHOICE Study participants (13%) than in the NHANES III participants (6%). In summary, many ASCVD risk factors are more prevalent in ESRD than in the general population and may explain some, but probably not all, of the increased ASCVD risk in ESRD.