This doctoral thesis investigates the onset of cardiovascular disease with a focus on socioeconomic differences as explanatory factors. Analyzing a contemporary population of natives and foreign-born individuals in Sweden, socioeconomic status is operationalized through a variety of measures. The importance of this study is found in the high cost of cardiovascular intervention and the high prevalence of the disease in the developed world. This dissertation focuses on the onset rather than the progress of the disease, excluding part of the causation problem due to feedback effects from ill-health on socioeconomic conditions. Using information from two different large-scale databases, the results of this thesis emphasize the interrelationship between socioeconomic characteristics as well as the strong correlation between these characteristics and other important cardiovascular risk factors. The differential cardiovascular disease risks found between men and women could be verified in this thesis, with differences in health behavior and socioeconomic distribution appearing as the primary underlying causes, alongside established biological explanations. The suggested health disadvantage of foreign-born individuals could be put into perspective using a sound sample selection for the analysis. The complexity of socioeconomic characteristics and their interrelationship with diverse cardiovascular impact factors is the main finding of this dissertation, providing new perspectives for future public health policies focusing on the prevention of cardiovascular disease.