In this prospective study, the relationship between blood lipids and breast cancer risk was examined. Between 1977 and 1983, 31,209 Norwegian women, 20 to 54 years of age, attended a health screening carried out by the Norwegian National Health Screening Services. The screening consisted of a questionnaire, anthropometric measurements, and nonfasting blood drawn for analysis of total serum cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol was calculated by the Friedewald's formula. During the seven to 13 years of follow-up, 302 breast cancer cases were identified by linkage to the Norwegian Cancer Registry. After adjustment for some of the known risk factors of breast cancer, the relative risk of women in the highest quartile of TC compared with women in the lowest quartile was 0.87 (95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 0.61-1.23). The corresponding relative risks and CIs were 0.82 (CI = 0.58-1.16) for TG, 1.02 (CI = 0.73-1.42) for HDL, and 0.93 (CI = 0.67-1.29) for LDL. No association between breast cancer risk and blood lipids was found in the total population, nor when the data were divided into those diagnosed before or after the age of 50 as a dividing line between pre- and postmenopausal diagnosis.