We investigated the association between fibrinogen levels and a HaeIII restriction fragment length polymorphism located at -453 bp from the start of transcription of the beta fibrinogen gene. 292 healthy men aged 45 to 69 years, recruited from general practices throughout Britain, were studied. None had a history of ischaemic heart disease. 41.1% (120) were smokers and fibrinogen levels were higher in this group. The frequency of the non-cutting allele (designated H2) was 0.19 and was the same in smokers and non-smokers. The H2 allele was associated with elevated levels of fibrinogen in both smokers and non-smokers and the effect of genotype was similar in both groups. After smoking, HaeIII genotype was the strongest predictor of fibrinogen levels and explained 3.1% of the variance in fibrinogen levels. These results confirm earlier studies that variation at the fibrinogen locus contributes to the between-individual differences in plasma fibrinogen level.