Objective: To investigate the influence of positive and negative life events (including daily uplifts and daily hassles) on several biological and lifestyle coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors. Methods: From the Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study (AGHLS), a cross-section sample of 207 males and 231 females aged 32/33 years was used. Results: Hardly any associations were found between both positive and negative life events and biological CHD risk factors. On the other hand, daily uplifts and positive life events were positively related to lifestyle. For both positive and negative life events coping behaviour played a role in these relationships. Furthermore, it was shown that the associations of health-related variables with daily uplifts and hassles were comparable to those found for major positive and negative life events. Conclusion: This study could not fully determine whether or not different mechanisms play a role in the health benefits of positive life events compared to the health burdens of negative life events. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.