A cross-sectional study of a sample of Minnesota black urban residents was conducted in 1985 to develop cardiovascular risk profiles. Participants were evaluated during a home interview (N = 1,254, 78% participation) and a survey center visit (N = 1,052, 65% participation). Black men had significantly higher mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure than Black women (129.7/80.9 vs 124.8/77.3, respectively). Age-specific values for systolic and diastolic blood pressure were greater in men than women for all age categories. Men were more likely to have uncontrolled hypertension or to be unaware of their hypertension than women in all age categories. Women had significantly higher mean total and highdensity lipoprotein cholesterol values than men (202.1 and 56.1 mg/dl vs 193.2 and 48.7 mg/dl, respectively). Age-specific values for total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol values were greater in women than men for all age categories except the 35-44 age group. Men were significantly more likely to be current cigarette smokers (43.3% vs 33.2%) and to have higher cigarette consumption per day (17 vs 14) than women. The major risk factors for cardiovascular disease (with the exception of smoking) were lower in the Minnesota study in 1985 than in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 1976-1980. These lower levels may also be a component in the decline of cardiovascular disease mortality rates among Blacks.