- Assessing the prevalence of relevant risk factors among young adults is a critical step in the process of preventing atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (ASCVD) later in life. The Israel Defense Force Periodic Health Examination Center performs a routine check-up for subjects aged 25-45 years. Medical history, physical examination notes, laboratory results and ECG tracings are recorded, computerized and processed to form the Young Adults Periodic Examinations in Israel (YAPEIS) database. Data representing 31,640 subjects (27,769 males and 3871 females) examined between the years 1991-1999 were analyzed. The prevalence of documented risk factors for ASCVD were evaluated. The results of all parameters were graded categorically as low, moderate or high and the Framingham risk score was calculated. Fifty-one percent of the study participants were found to be overweight (body mass index > or = 25 kg/m2), 8.5% had high systolic blood pressure and 14.6% had high diastolic blood pressure. The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and hyperglycemia was found to be 44.7 and 9.7%, respectively. Thirty-two percent of the subjects smoked cigarettes, and 76.7% reported not performing any routine physical activity. Furthermore, 31.8% had a Framingham score indicating a greater than 5% risk for developing a coronary event within the next 10 years. As expected, the prevalence of these risk factors increased with age and were found to be less frequent among females. Thus we conclude that many young Israeli adults hold significant risk factors for future ASCVD. Many of these risk factors are modifiable, and risk behavior is often amenable to alteration. Awareness to the high prevalence of risk factors among young adults should spark vigorous health-promotion programs as well as screening, education, and interventional measures aimed at altering the expected outcome of future ASCVD.