ApoE phenotypes were determined in 615 unrelated Finnish individuals. The apoE gene frequencies observed (epsilon 2, 0.041; epsilon 3, 0.733; epsilon 4, 0.227) differ significantly from those in other populations. The frequency of the allele epsilon 2 was lower and that of epsilon 4 higher than in all other studied populations. Plasma lipids and apolipoproteins A-I, A-II and B were recorded in 207 of the typed subjects. By comparison with the most frequent homozygous apoE 3/3 phenotype, it was found that total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and apoB concentrations were all markedly higher in apoE 4/4 and to a lesser degree in apoE 4/3 phenotypic groups. On the other hand, these lipid and apolipoprotein levels tended to be lower in E-2 heterozygotes. These data confirm and extend, in a different ethnic group, previous results of an effect of apoE genes on plasma lipoprotein concentrations. The data suggest that the apoE gene locus may be one factor responsible for the high LDL cholesterol concentrations in the Finnish population.