The authors examined the association between lung function, as measured by forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity, and the 10-year incidence of coronary heart disease among 14,480 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (1987-1998). Separate proportional hazards models were used for FEV1 and forced vital capacity, with gender-specific lung function quartiles and lung function x gender interaction terms. An association between lung function and coronary heart disease was observed in both genders and was stronger among women. After adjustment for age, race, study center, height, height squared, smoking, and cardiovascular disease risk factors, the hazard ratios for the first (lowest), second, and third quartiles of FEV1 were 3.70 (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.19, 6.24), 2.54 (95% CI: 1.49, 4.32), and 2.25 (95% CI: 1.31, 3.87) for women and 1.51 (95% CI: 1.07, 2.13), 1.59 (95% CI: 1.15, 2.20), and 1.52 (95% CI: 1.10, 2.09) for men. After stratification by smoking status, associations were observed in each smoking group for women, while those in men were weaker and less consistent. Similar results were obtained for forced vital capacity. This analysis indicates an association between lung function and incident coronary heart disease that may be stronger in women than in men.