Data on mortality among over 8000 Canadians aged 35 to 79 years who participated in the Nutrition Canada survey are presented. The effects of various risk factors on mortality were assessed with a multivariate Poisson regression analysis. Factors associated with a significantly increased risk of death over a 10-year follow-up period ending in 1981 included cigarette smoking, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. A shallow U-shaped mortality pattern was observed for body mass index and for serum cholesterol level. No statistically significant increases in risk were associated with alcohol consumption. The population attributable risks for smoking, hypertension and diabetes were 39%, 8% and 6% respectively for men and 21%, 12% and 7% respectively for women.