We investigated the association between different risk indicators and inflammatory bowel disease in a case-control study based on the population of Stockholm County during 1980-1984. Information on physical activity, oral contraceptives, some previous diseases and childhood characteristics was collected using a postal questionnaire for 152 cases of Crohn's disease, 145 cases of ulcerative colitis, and 305 controls. The relative risk (RR) of Crohn's disease was inversely related to regular physical activity and estimated at 0.6 (95% CI: 0.4-0.9) and 0.5 (95% CI: 0.3-0.9) for weekly and daily exercise, respectively. Having psoriasis prior to the inflammatory bowel disease was associated with an increased relative risk of Crohn's disease (RR = 2.9, 95% CI: 1.1-7.9). Use of oral contraceptives was associated with an increased RR of 1.7 for both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn's disease confined to the colon and total ulcerative colitis at diagnosis were most strongly associated with oral contraceptives.