On the basis of a questionnaire in a population study in the county of Nordland, Norway, the prevalence of palpitations and its associations to some lifestyle factors, depression and self-rated health were analysed. All the 10,497 residents aged 40 to 42 years were invited to participate, 82% attended, 87% of the attenders returned a questionnaire by mail, and 6436 subjects were included in this report. The prevalence of palpitations was 15% in men and 25% in women. Palpitations were significantly associated with coffee consumption, smoking, alcohol intoxication, physical inactivity, depression and poor self-rated health in the univariate analyses. In a logistic regression analysis, the relations between palpitations and lifestyle were weakened. Significant predictors for palpitations were depression and poor self-rated health in both sexes, in addition to heavy coffee drinking and physical inactivity in men and alcohol intoxication in women. In conclusion, palpitations were more firmly linked to depression and self-evaluated health than to lifestyle.