It has been increasingly recognized that dietary factors play a major role in the development of chronic diseases, including cancers and CVD. The identification of patterns of nutrient intake in populations with different disease incidence will be helpful in understanding the diet and disease association. The present report describes nutrient intake in 74,810 Chinese women, aged between 40 and 70 years, who participated in a population-based cohort study in Shanghai from 1997 to 2000. A food frequency questionnaire was used to derive estimates of nutrient intakes. The average daily energy intake was 7027.8 kJ in the study population, with protein, fat and carbohydrates contributing 15.9%, 15.6% and 68.5%, respectively. Factors, including younger age, higher income, attainment of education at the college level or above, being married or holding a professional job, were related to higher intake levels of most nutrients. The present results highlight the need for continuing to promote public health strategies aimed at improving the diets of women from both older and lower socio-demographic backgrounds, and in the meantime, continuing to help address the current dearth of data on nutrient intakes for middle-aged and elderly urban Chinese women.