Symptoms by age and sex were studied in two population studies from Gothenburg, Sweden. In general, men and women showed the same age-related pattern. The prevalence of the following symptoms increased with age--sleeping disturbances, pain in the joints, pain in the legs, breathlessness, and impaired hearing. Six symptoms decreased with age--general fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, cough, and headache. A group of symptoms showed a curvilinear shape with a peak at the age of 50. In general, women presented more symptoms than men. This was especially true for symptoms of depression and tension. A possible explanation is that women are more attentive to their internal state. A more probable explanation, supported by our study, is that the mental symptoms are related to the woman's situation in life with double work (responsible for both work and family).