Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of mortality in the industrialized world and that might also soon be the case in other parts of the world. There are several easily measured and potentially modifiable risk factors that account for a substantial proportion of the risk of CHD. The effect of risk factors interventions appears to be consistent in both genders, across different geographic regions, and by all ethnic groups, suggesting that approaches to prevention can be based on similar principles worldwide. Optimal target levels for serum cholesterol and blood pressure are not yet clear. Future risk CHD reduction will mainly be achieved by improved primary prevention.