Before starting the health education program of the National Research Program 1A "Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in Switzerland", a baseline assessment in a stratified random sample in Aarau, Solothurn , Nyon and Vevey was performed (1977/1978). Results show the magnitude of the preventive task. 50% of young women and men smoke, 12% of the population has high blood pressure. Only 25% of all hypertensives are well controlled. 14% of the population have elevated serum cholesterol values and 50% are physically inactive after age 30. Finally, 15.5% of those investigated show type A behaviour pattern.