A case-control study was conducted to evaluate factors measured at the udder inflammation-free state as risk factors for subsequent clinical mastitis. The factors including somatic cell count (SCC), body condition score, milk yield, percentages of milk fat and milk protein, and diseases were evaluated for their association with the results of udder inflammatory response. The results of the response were specified as presence (case) and absence (control) of clinical signs of mastitis. Data on Holstein Friesian cows calving from January 1984 to November 1996 from a commercial farm with low bulk milk SCC were used. Univariable and multivariable random-effect logistic models were used to evaluate the effect of those factors on the risk of clinical mastitis. The following variables were associated with increased odds of case versus control events in the univariable analysis: early lactation period, low SCC, high milk yield, high percentage of milk protein, high percentage of milk fat, low body condition score, retained placenta, and milk fever. For the final multivariable model of all variables used for analysis, only low SCC remained significantly associated with increased risk of subsequent clinical mastitis. The authors concluded that very low SCC during the udder inflammation-free state are associated with increased risk of clinical mastitis.