This study evaluated risk factors for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and the prognostic significance of serum creatinine levels in a community-based mass screening. We used the registries of both community-based mass screening and chronic dialysis programs. In 1983, a total of 107,192 subjects over 18 years of age (51,122 men and 56,070 women) participated in a mass-screening program in Okinawa, Japan. Among them, serum creatinine data were available for 14,609 participants (5,613 men and 8,996 women). During 10 years of follow-up, we identified 60 dialysis patients (29 men and 31 women) among this group. Logistic regression analysis on the risk of ESRD was performed to determine the significance of serum creatinine levels in comparison with other clinical variables. The adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval) was 5.31 (3.39 to 8.32) in men and 3.92 (2.88 to 5.34) in women when compared to baseline serum creatinine levels of less than 1.0 mg/dl in women and 1.2 mg/dl in men. Diastolic blood pressure was not a significant predictor of ESRD. Results demonstrated the prognostic significance of serum creatinine in a community-based mass screening. Gender difference in the incidence of ESRD was explained, at least partly, by differences between clinical predictors and baseline serum creatinine levels.