Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) play an important role in cell proliferation and apoptosis, and recent epidemiologic studies have suggested that circulating IGF-1 and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) may be related to colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer risk. The purpose of this analysis was to investigate the role of various personal and lifestyle factors in the inter-individual variation of circulating IGF-1 and IGFPB-3. We measured plasma levels of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 in a sequential sample of 333 population-based control subjects enrolled in the Seattle Colorectal Cancer Family Registry from August 1999 through December 2001, who had provided a blood sample. Total IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 were measured from plasma samples using ELISA assays. Interviewer-administered questionnaires collected data on various personal and lifestyle factors. Multivariate-adjusted linear regression was used to assess the associations between specific personal and lifestyle factors with IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels. Age, body mass index, and postmenopausal hormone use were statistically significantly inversely related to IGF-1 concentrations, and milk consumption was significantly positively related to IGF-1 levels. Only age was significantly related to circulating IGFBP-3. Although the sources of inter-individual variation of IGF-1 and IGFB-3 are not yet fully understood, this analysis provides some insights into factors that may contribute.