To assess the risk of ischaemic heart disease, the following examinations were conducted in 350 seafarers, 480 deep-sea fishermen and 500 dockers: physical examination, chest X-ray, standard 12-lead electrocardiogram, exercise stress test, echocardiography, laboratory tests. A complete medical history aimed at detection the coronary risk factors was collected from each man. The mean age of persons examined was as follows: 47.6 years - fishermen, 44.8 - seamen, and 42.9 - dockers. It was estimated that the main risk factors found both in fishermen and seamen were cigarette smoking, hypercholesterolemia and overweight. The incidence rates of high serum cholesterol level and overweight in the above occupational groups were higher as compared with the prevalence of these factors in the general male population in Poland. The study data argue for the need for adequate dietary change, habit modification and promotion of recreational physical activities among seafarers.