Despite low mortality from heart disease in the New South Wales Vietnamese community, the prevalence of risk factors for heart disease has been increasing. This study sought to identify the prevalence of heart disease risk factors in the Vietnamese community in southwestern Sydney. In 1991, 389 randomly selected Vietnamese-born residents of southwestern Sydney (79.2 per cent response rate) were interviewed by telephone about their risk status. Sixty-one per cent of this sample agreed to a second interview in their homes where physical measurements were taken. Smoking prevalence was high in males (53 per cent), whereas raised blood pressure (5.1 per cent), high blood cholesterol (21.1 per cent) and overweight (14.0 per cent) had a low prevalence compared to National Heart Foundation data for the general population. Interventions targeting males about smoking should be a health promotion priority, and the maintenance of the traditional Vietnamese diet should be encouraged.