In this symposium an extensive review of the basic role of health education for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, has been made. Principles and methods have been analysed in the light of recent advances in primary and secondary prevention of rheumatic heart disease, ischemic heart disease and hypertension. The cardiologist's role in health education of individual subjects and of high-risk target groups or of the whole community, has been stressed. Recent trials have shown that it is possible to achieve behavioural changes and a reduction in the levels of risk factors in a good proportion of participants. It should be possible to bring up children virtually free from risk factors. Cardiologists on their own are unlikely to succeed in a program of prevention. They need the help of many others including public health workers, sociologists, nurses and above all, general practitioners. Cardiologists however have responsibility for leadership and for providing background knowledge. Cardiologists need to be educated and motivated. Health education should be founded on a scientific basis and should be organized in an efficient and planned fashion. Medical and post-graduated schools, hospital institutions and cardiological associations must be specifically involved in preparing the cardiologists for this specific task. On the other hand, dedicated teams or sections in the cardiological departments must be activated to promote, coordinate and carry out specific programs of health education for preventing cardiovascular diseases. The attention of governmental authorities should be drawn to the theoretical and practical importance of health education in preventive cardiology, especially in connection with the planning, organization and direction of health education at the regional and national level.