We determined plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations in 131 patients (95 males, 36 females, mean age 71 years) 6 months after acute stroke onset. Compared to a reference population, the alterations of plasma lipid concentrations in stroke patients were moderate. However, the stroke patients had higher levels of triglyceride and lipoprotein (a) and lower concentrations of cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol. Patients with different subtypes of stroke showed significant differences when compared with each other by analysis of covariance (with adjustment for age, sex, smoking, hypertension and diabetes). Patients with carotid or vertebral artery disease had the higher levels of cholesterol, triglyceride and apolipoprotein B, whereas high density lipoprotein triglyceride concentrations were higher in patients with cardioembolic infarcts.