In the Lifeways Cross Generation Cohort Study, mothers were asked to recruit at least one of 4 potential living grandparents to the study, and 1177 grandparents became active participants who either completed a health status questionnaire only (n = 707), or subsequently underwent a cardiovascular risk assessment examination at home (n = 958). Mean age of grandfathers at baseline was 61.5 years (SD 10.3), of grandmothers 59.2 years (SD 9.1), with a range of 40-83 years, 21% of grandmothers and 16% of grandfathers were third level educated. Risk factor profile of grandparents tended to be more adverse than the general population as assessed by the standard cardiovascular risk factor SCORE. Grandparents' socio-demographic characteristics were similar, whether maternal or paternal in origin. Predictors of positive self-rated health were non smoking (OR 1.5, p = 0.06) and non GMS eligibility (OR 1.99, p < 0.001). At four year follow-up, complete general practice data were available for 285 of 488 respondents with full recruitment data (58.4%). Increased GP utilisation pattern was predicted by baseline morbidity characteristics, though heavier male drinkers were less likely to attend.