The presence of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases were investigated in 7- and 11-year-old schoolchildren (808 subjects). Data analysis was performed according to sex, age, and country of origin of the father. The following variables were investigated: weight, height, total plasma cholesterol (TCH), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), plasma triglycerides, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Significant differences were found between sex, age, and origin groups for most variables. The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia (greater than 180 mg/dl) varied between 9.6 and 14.1%, in the different sex and age groups, and that of low HDL cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dl), 6.8-12.1%. Elevated systolic blood pressure (greater than 130 mm Hg) was found in 4.4-6.7% of the 7-year-old children, and in 13,4-18.6% of the 11 year-olds. Elevated diastolic blood pressure (greater than 85 mm Hg) was found predominantly in the 11-year-old children, 6.2-9.1%. These findings demonstrate the necessity to initiate health programs related to prevention of cardiovascular diseases in childhood.