Men between the ages of 25 and 45 years attending a surgery were screened for risk of heart disease. An `at-risk' group of 188 men were identified and 118 of them (63 per cent) accepted an invitation to attend a coronary heart disease prevention clinic at the practice. A sample of the attending group showed favourable changes in risk factors one year later.
Subsamples of 20 men from the attending and non-attending groups were interviewed at the clinic or at home; they showed significant differences with respect to employment status, family history of myocardial infarction and knowledge about coronary heart disease as a cause of death in the United Kingdom. Implications for preventive programmes of this nature are discussed, and the need to utilize routine doctor-patient contacts for health education and prevention is stressed.