A population-based case-control study to determine social and behavioural risk factors for Taenia solium cysticercosis in humans was carried out in a rural area. Shandong province, China. Forty-eight cases with cysticercosis were ascertained through a prevalence survey conducted among 7281 persons in 1993. For each case, four controls residing in the same village and matched for age and sex were randomly selected. Information regarding demographic, social and behavioural factors was collected during house visits through interviews and direct observation. Risk factors strongly associated with human cysticercosis included poor personal hygiene, being unable to recognize cysticerci-containing meat, poor pig-raising practices and a history of passing tapeworm proglottides. The results indicate that health education in combination with chemotherapy for taeniasis is required for the control of cysticercosis in humans.