The most common diseases affecting middle-aged and elderly subjects in industrialized countries are multigenetic and lifestyle related. Several attempts have been made to study interactions between genes and lifestyle factors, but most such studies lack the power to examine interactions between several genes and several lifestyle components. The primary objective of the EpiHealth cohort study is to provide a resource to study interactions between several genotypes and lifestyle factors in a large cohort (the aim is 300,000 individuals) derived from the Swedish population in the age range of 45-75 years regarding development of common degenerative disorders, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, dementia, joint pain, obstructive lung disease, depression, and osteoporotic fractures. The study consists of three parts. First, a collection of data on lifestyle factors by self-assessment using an internet-based questionnaire. Second, a visit to a test center where blood samples are collected and physiological parameters recorded. Third, the sample is followed for occurrence of outcomes using nationwide medical registers. This overview presents the study design and some baseline characteristics from the first year of data collection in the EpiHealth study.