Abdominal obesity constitutes an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Hypertriglyceridemia and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentration constitute the major lipid alterations observed in obesity. A common variant of the lipoprotein lipase (LPL) gene, the HindIII polymorphism, has been found to be associated with changes in triglyceride and HDL-cholesterol levels. We have investigated the impact of the LPL HindIII polymorphism on the relationship between abdominal adiposity and lipoprotein concentrations in 156 randomly selected women in a cross-sectional study conducted in the province of Gerona, in the northeast of Spain. The waist-to-hip ratio was used as an estimate of regional fat distribution. Serum lipid and lipoprotein measurements as well as lipoprotein lipase-HindIII genotypes were determined. Percentile 50 of waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) (0.81) was used as a cutoff to define low or high WHR groups, which significantly differed in blood pressure and lipid trait concentrations. Serum triglyceride concentrations and mean log triglyceride-to-HDL-cholesterol ratio were significantly higher in H+ homozygous women compared with H- carriers. Whereas no statistically-significant differences were observed in HDL-cholesterol concentration and log triglyceride-to-HDL-cholesterol ratio of H- carriers between WHR groups, H+ homozygous women showed significant differences in these lipid traits. It is noteworthy that high-WHR H- carrier women showed a mean HDL-cholesterol value similar to those of both genotypes in the low WHR group. A statistically significant interaction between WHR and genotype was observed for HDL-cholesterol concentration (P=0. 027) and log triglyceride-to-HDL-cholesterol ratio (P=0.040). These results stress the compensating effects that weight loss may have on women with adverse genetic factors. From a complementary viewpoint, the presence of the H- allele seems to confer a protective lipid profile, even when an adverse anthropometric factor such as abdominal adiposity is present.