Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) levels in plasma were measured in healthy twin children. The within-pair correlation for 43 monozygotic pairs was r = 0.91 (P < or = 0.0001), an association significantly higher than that for same sex dizygotic pairs (r = 0.40; P < or = 0.06). The high correlation for monozygotic twins indicated a marked genetic influence on IGF-I levels. After correction for age and sex, the correlation between IGF-I level and height was r = 0.38 (P < or = 0.0001). These findings provide clear evidence that IGF-I levels correlate with height, a growth characteristic known to be genetically controlled.