Hyperlipidemia is common in patients with the nephrotic syndrome. The main cause is probably increased hepatic lipogenesis, a non-specific reaction to falling oncotic pressure secondary to hypoalbuminemia. Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality are increased in patients with the nephrotic syndrome, with the exception of patients with minimal change disease. It is not clear whether this is caused by the hypercholesterolemia or secondary to uremia or medical treatment. Experiments suggest that hypercholesterolemia may cause glomerulosclerosis, a common complication of the nephrotic syndrome. The hypercholesterolemia of the nephrotic syndrome can now be treated effectively with HMG coenzyme A reductase inhibitors.