Anthropometry and dual-photon absorptiometry (DPA) were used to examine associations of regional adiposity with plasma lipid, lipoprotein, and lipoprotein subfraction mass concentrations in moderately overweight men and women. Among 130 women, waist to thigh girth ratio (WTR) correlated with triglycerides (TG) (r = .33, P less than .0001) and negatively with high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (HDL-C) (r = -.37, P less than .0001) concentration, as expected. While WTR did not correlate with low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol (LDL-C) it correlated positively with the mass subfraction of small (Sfo, 0 to 7) LDL (r = .38, P less than .0001), and negatively with large (Sfo, 7 to 12) LDL (r = -.31, P less than .01). Among 133 men, similar though weaker relationships were found. Thigh girth correlated positively with HDL and HDL2-C and mass, and with LDL particle size among women. Multivariate analysis suggests that association of WTR with lipoprotein values known to carry risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) are due at least as much to effects of thigh girth as to deleterious effects of waist girth. Estimates of fat weight in thigh and abdominal regions by DPA support thigh fat as contributing to these effects of thigh girth. Thigh fat may contribute to lipoprotein profiles that predict lower risk of cardiovascular disease.