Few studies have assessed risks for tennis elbow on a population basis. Baseline data of prevalence are reported from a cohort of workers (n = 683) in 12 diverse plants in Wisconsin and Utah. The workers are 66.1 % female, 27.7% current smokers, 23.9% former smokers, with a mean age of 40.7+/-11.3 years and mean Body Mass Index (BMI) of 28.5+/-6.4 kg/m2. All workers underwent a questionnaire, structured interview, and two standardized physical examinations. A total of 14.8% and 8.2% had current complaints in the prior month at baseline of right/left lateral elbow pain. Using standard case criteria of right/left lateral elbow pain and tenderness, the one month period prevalence of lateral epicondylitis in this population is 11.7% / 5.9%. Using standard case criteria of right/left lateral elbow pain, tenderness, and pain on provocation, the point prevalence of lateral epicondylitis in this population is 6.1% / 3.1%. Multiple logistic regression was performed. For lateral epicondylitis the statistically significant finding in the right elbow is female gender [Odds Ratio (OR) = 3.13, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.60, 5.92]. Factors trending toward an association are age (OR = 1.02, p = 0.21), BMI (OR = 1.03, p = 0.12) and tobacco use (OR = 1.54, p = 0.09). Age was statistically associated with left lateral epicondylitis (OR = 1.05, CI 1.01, 1.08) while gender (OR = 1.83, p = 0.14) and tobacco use (OR= 1.47, p = 0.23) tended toward an association. These data suggest that there is a relatively high prevalence of lateral elbow pain and lateral epicondylitis in this population.