Salonen JT [North Karelia Project, University of Kuopio, Box 40, 70101 Kuopio 10, Finland], Puska P, Kottke TE and Heinonen OP. Coronary risk factor clustering patterns in Eastern Finland. International Journal of Epidemiology 1981, 10: 203-210.A random population sample from Eastern Finland was studied. Altogether approximately 12 000 persons aged 25 to 59 years were examined with participation rate of 92%. Smoking, high saturated fat diet, increased serum cholesterol and elevated blood pressure showed clustering among men but not among women. Smoking tended to cluster in men with high saturated fat intake and hypercholesterolaemia. Increased serum cholesterol clustered with high blood pressure among both men and women. This risk factor clustering may contribute to the exceptionally high coronary heart disease incidence among men in the area. The reverse was true for women: smoking was less prevalent among women with elevated blood pressure or high saturated fat intake and did not differ by serum cholesterol.