Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) plays a critical role in the metabolism of lipoproteins because this enzyme hydrolyzes the triacylglycerides in chylomicrons and very low density lipoproteins. This process influences the production of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which takes up tissue cholesterol for transport to the liver for excretion. Accordingly, LPL qualifies as a candidate gene for understanding lipid metabolic disorders and atherosclerosis. Studies on the relationship between genetic variation at the LPL locus and lipid phenotypes have produced equivocal results to date. To help clarify this issue, we investigated 144 outwardly healthy male Mediterranean migrants (from Italy and Greece), age between 40 and 70 years and resident in Australia, for associations between two common LPL restriction site polymorphisms and the following lipid and lipoprotein phenotypes: total plasma cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and triacylglycerides. A series of analysis of variance tests, controlling for age, body mass index, and ethnicity, showed that the HindIII polymorphism at the LPL locus is significantly associated with both triacylglyceride and HDL cholesterol concentrations in this sample. The PvUII polymorphism, however, showed no association with any lipid. Kruskal-Wallis tests confirmed the significance of the associations between the HindIII RFLP and both HDL (p = 0.008) and triacylglycerides (p = 0.03). When the sample was subdivided into subjects who exhibited primary hypertriacylglyceridemia and normolipidemics, a significant difference was observed in the frequency of HindIII (p < 0.05) but not PvuII genotypes. HindIII heterozygotes (H1,H2) were least and H2,H2 individuals were most at risk for triacylglyceridemia. Examination of the normolipidemic sample revealed some evidence for an independent effect of the PvuII polymorphism on both LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels.