Macrophages uptake oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) via a scavenger receptor such as CD36 from plasma, and then become foam cells. We examined the association of CD36 gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with certain metabolic characteristics in a young male Japanese population (n = 494). The G allele in a SNP located at +30215 on the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) was significantly correlated with the plasma LDL-cholesterol concentrations (r = 0.13, p <0.01). The difference in LDL-cholesterol concentrations was 10 mg dl(-1) between GG- and AA-genotype carriers (p <0.05). The CD36 gene SNP is a novel maker of the variation in the LDL-cholesterol levels in young Japanese men.