BACKGROUND : Abnormalities in blood lipid levels are causally linked with cardiovascular disease and pancreatitis. Data is limited regarding lipid abnormalities in Ireland. OBJECTIVE : As part of a cholesterol awareness campaign, we performed a pilot study of current lipid levels to preliminarily assess the extent and pattern of lipid abnormalities in Ireland. METHODS : Non-fasting, full lipid profiles and glucose measurements were performed in 259 people (32 on lipid-lowering medication and 225 untreated) using a validated Cholestech LDX machine. Untreated participants included 95 men and 130 women, aged 51 ± 16 years. RESULTS : The mean ± SD, total, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) and median(IQR) non-HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in untreated individuals were 5.0 ± 1.1, 2.8 ± 1.0, 1.5 ± 0.5 and 3.4 (2.8-4.3), 1.6 (1.0-2.3) mmol/l respectively. Glucose was 5.3 (4.8-5.8) mmol/l. Glucose > 7.8 mmol/l occurred in 10 individuals (4%). Using defined criteria for non-fasting lipid levels, 60% of participants had some form of lipid abnormality with a frequency of 47% having a total cholesterol > 5, 35% with LDL > 3.0, 26% with HDL < 1.0/1.2, 33% with triglycerides > 2.0 and 32% with non-HDL cholesterol > 3.9 mmol/l. Three individuals had untreated LDL > 5 mmol/l (i.e. a ratio of 1:75 of those tested) and eight people had HDLc < 0.7 (1:28) and four had triglyceride above 7.3 mmol/l (1:56). CONCLUSIONS : This pilot study reveals significant lipid abnormalities which require further larger more detailed lipid studies to assess the true burden of lipid abnormalities in Ireland. Cascade screening and genetic testing of relatives of those with severe lipid abnormalities should be considered.