Uterine cervical cancer is one of the principal public health problems in Mexico. The national mortality rate for cervical cancer in 1991 is estimated at 9.5 per 100,000 women, representing 4,194 deaths. In the period from August 1990 to December 1992, a case-control study was carried out that included 630 cases of histologically confirmed cervical cancer in eight Mexico City hospitals (two for people with no social security cover, four of the social security system and two private). As controls, 1,005 women were chosen from a random sampling of houses in the Mexico City metropolitan area. The main cervical cancer risk factors found in this study, adjusted for a multivariate model, were multiple normals births (with five births OR of 1.93 and 95% C.I. of 1.22-2.73) and a history of two or more sex partners (the OR with four or more sex partners was 5.56 and a C.I. of 2.3-13.4). In addition, there was an estimated lower risk of disease related to starting a sex life after 25 years of age (OR 0.41 with C.I. of 0.25-0.69) and to having cesareans as compared versus one normal birth (OR 0.28 and C.I. of 0.13-0.61). The information obtained is relevant since it identifies Mexican women with a high-risk of developing cervical cancer which can be used in planning programs for the early detection of cancer in this population.