Lipoprotein peroxidation is thought to play an important role in atherogenesis. In the Kuopio Atherosclerosis Prevention Study (KAPS) the intake of fat and fatty acids, the oxidation susceptibility of the plasma very-low-density + low-density lipoprotein (VLDL+LDL) fraction (by induction with copper or hemin and hydrogen peroxide), and concentrations of plasma antioxidants, serum lipids, and lipoproteins were measured in 393 men. In the multivariate-regression model dietary linoleic acid was the most important determinant of the maximal oxidation velocity for the hemin assay (standardized regression coefficient = 0.294, P<0.0001). In the copper assay the association of dietary linoleic acid and maximal oxidation velocity was second in order of strength (standardized regression coefficient = 0.324, P< 0.0001). We conclude that high linoleic acid intake is associated with increased oxidation susceptibility of atherogenic lipoproteins in men.