In a trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a nurse-directed intervention designed to help patients decrease dietary intake of fat, quit or decrease smoking, and increase exercise, 138 women who underwent coronary artery bypass surgery were randomized to receive special intervention (SI) or usual care (UC). The SI group received a behavioral program based on self-efficacy theory in the home 2 weeks after discharge with regular follow-up. The UC group received routine medical care. Risk factors and lifestyle behaviors were measured at baseline and 1 year after surgery in 116 (84%) women (SI = 59, UC = 57). The SI group decreased their total fat intake from a mean of 38% of calories at baseline to 35% at 1 year, while the UC group increased it from 36% to 38%. The prevalence of smoking decreased from 24% at baseline to 8% at 1 year in the SI group and from 19% to 14% in the UC group. At follow-up, the quit rate in those smoking at baseline was 64% in the SI group, with no new smokers, and 55% in the UC group, with three new smokers. Both groups reported improvement in exercise, with the proportion of women reporting participation in some form of regular exercise slightly higher in the SI group than in the UC group, 54% and 51%, respectively.