Abstract Epidemiologic studies have shown that a dyslipoproteinemia with low concentrations of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and elevated serum triglycerides (TG) is associated with a particularly high incidence of coronary artery disease. This lipid profile is associated with increased concentrations of small, dense low density lipoprotein (LDL) particles. To evaluate the role of mild to moderately elevated TG on the LDL subfraction profile in patients with low HDL cholesterol, concentration and composition of six LDL subfractions was determined by density gradient ultracentrifugation in 41 healthy men (31±9 years, body mass index (BMI) 25.1±3.9 kg/m 2) with equally low HDL cholesterol levels <0.91 mmol/l but different TG levels: TG<1.13 mmol/l, n=16; TG=1.13–2.26 mmol/l, n=13; TG=2.26–3.39 mmol/l, n=12. Those men with moderately elevated TG levels between 2.26 and 3.39 mmol/l had significantly higher concentrations of very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), intermediate low density lipoprotein (IDL), and small, dense LDL apoB and cholesterol than men with TG <1.13 mmol/l. With increasing serum TG, the TG content per particle also increased in VLDL, IDL as well as total LDL particles while the cholesterol and phospholipid (PL) content decreased in VLDL and IDL, but not in LDL particles. LDL subfraction analysis revealed that only large, more buoyant LDL particles ( d<1.044 g/ml) but not the smaller, more dense LDL, were enriched in TG. Small, dense LDL particles were depleted of free cholesterol (FC) and PL. This study has shown that in men with low HDL cholesterol levels mild to moderately elevated serum TG strongly suggest the presence of other metabolic cardiovascular risk factors and in particular of a more atherogenic LDL subfraction profile of increased concentration of small, dense LDL particles that are depleted in surface lipids.