Mortality and hospital admissions due to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus have been increasing in Fiji steadily over the past 20years. These diseases were present more frequently in the Indian than the Melanesian population of Fiji, but recently the steepest rise in prevalence rates occurred among the Melanesian population. The underlying conditions that contributed most to increasing mortality and morbidity were hypertension and diabetes mellitus. In 1978, the proportional mortality from diabetes mellitus was 6.0% (9. 0% in persons aged > 40 years), and that from cardiovascular diseases was 30.3% (39% in those aged > 40 years). Ischaemic heart disease was the main cause of mortality and morbidity among the Indian population. This analysis of mortality and morbidity data is supported by the findings of a population survey, which showed that the prevalence rates of diabetes and hypertension in 1980 among urban Melanesians were similar to those among Indians. Urbanization and a modern life-style seem to play an important role in determining the disease pattern in Fiji, which is following the patterns in many industrial countries.