In this work we evaluated the 5-year incidence of hypercholesterolemia, in a sample of cardiovascular disease free adult men and women from Greece. We also evaluated the association of several socio-demographic, dietary and lifestyle habits on the incidence of this disorder.1514 men and 1528 women (>18 y) without any clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease, living in Attica area, Greece, were enrolled in the ATTICA study from May 2001 to December 2002. The sampling was random, multi-stage, and included information about various socio-demographic, lifestyle (diet, exercise, smoking etc), biological (lipids, and inflammatory markers), and clinical characteristics of the participants. In 2006, a group of experts performed the 5-year follow-up through telephone calls or personal visits (941 of the 3042 (31%) participants were lost to follow-up). Hypercholesterolemia, among people who had normal blood lipids at initial examination, was defined as fasting total cholesterol levels > 200 mg/dl or use of lipids lowering agents (NCEP ATPIII).The 5-year incidence of hypercholesterolemia was 23.7% (n = 127) in men and 17.7% (n = 110) in women (p for gender differences < 0.001). Multi-adjusted logistic regression analysis which revealed that increased age (odds ratio = 1.05, p < 0.001), waist circumference (odds ratio = 1.02, p = 0.03), fasting blood glucose (odds ratio = 1.01, p = 0.08) and apolipoprotein B (odds ratio = 1.02, p = 0.001) levels, were the most significant baseline predictors of developing hypercholesterolemia within a 5-year period.Incidence of hypercholesterolemia was high in both genders, emphasizing the burden of this disorder at population level. Aging, increased waist circumference, fasting blood glucose and apolipoprotein B levels were the most significant baseline predictors of hypercholesterolemia.