AIMS: This study examined risk factors in relation to 40-year all-cause and coronary heart disease mortality in the Corfu cohort of the Seven Countries Study. METHODS: The population studied in this analysis consisted of 529 rural middle-aged men enrolled in 1961. Multivariate analysis was performed using the proportional hazards Cox model with all-cause as well as coronary heart disease death as end points and age, blood pressure, serum total cholesterol, smoking, physical activity, body mass index, skinfold thickness, vital capacity and forced expiratory volume as predictors. RESULTS: The 40-year all-cause mortality rate was 87.1% (461 deaths/529 individuals at entry), while the CHD mortality rate was 22.7% (120 deaths/529 individuals at entry). The proportion of CHD deaths varied from 16 to 28.5% of all deaths during the period investigated. Age (hazard ratio (HR)=1.08, P<0.001), smoking (HR=1.40, P<0.01), diastolic blood pressure (HR=1.01, P<0.05), and forced expiratory volume (HR=0.97, P<0.05) were independently associated with 40-year all-cause mortality. Moreover, age (HR=1.093, P<0.001), smoking (HR=1.596, P<0.05), and body mass index (HR=1.05, P<0.05) were independently associated with 40-year CHD mortality. CONCLUSION: Among the investigated cardiovascular risk factors, age, smoking, physical activity, skinfold thickness, diastolic blood pressure, and forced expiratory volume seem to be associated with all-cause mortality, while age, smoking, and body mass index were consistently associated with 40-year CHD mortality.