OBJECTIVES 1. To examine the prevalence of selected risk factors for atherosclerosis: overweight, tobacco smoking, low physical activity, psychological distress and type A personality (characterized by tenseness, impatience, competitiveness, and aggressiveness) in adolescents and to assess the frequency the coexistence of risk factors (≥3) in relation to gender, age and school type. METHODS A cross-sectional study was carried out in a representative sample of youth aged 16 and 18 years (N=2983) in 8 voivodeships in Poland. The frequency of five atherosclerosis risk factors and their coexistence (≥3) was examined using self-reported questionnaires, in relation to gender, age and school type. Logistic regression analyses were used to assess the influence of the variables (gender, age and school type) on odds ratios of risk factor coexistence. RESULTS Low physical activity was the most common risk factor, statistically more frequent in students from Basic Vocational Schools than in other school types (p<0.05). In Basic Vocational Schools there was also the highest percentage of cigarette smokers (p<0.001). Psychological distress and type A behaviour were observed most frequently in students from General Upper Secondary Schools. The highest risk factor accumulation (≥3) was observed among students from Basic Vocational Schools (40%), significantly more frequent in girls than boys (47.5% and 37.5% respectively). Multivariable analyses show that students from Basic Vocational Schools had twice the odds (OR=2.25, p<0.001) to have the coexistence of risk factors for atherosclerosis as compared with students from General Upper Secondary Schools, girls had almost twice as many occurrences (OR=1.83, p<0.001) as boys and 18-year-olds 1.5 more than 16-year-olds (OR=1.46, p<0.001). CONCLUSION 1. A significant difference in the prevalence of risk factors for atherosclerosis in youth from different school types requires precise definition of priority health promotion activities depending on school type. 2. Students from Basic Vocational Schools should be the target group for intervention aimed at reducing atherosclerosis risk factors.