BACKGROUND: It has been reported that hypercholesterolemia is associated with coronary heart disease and that alcohol intake has influence on the lipid metabolism. This study was conducted to evaluate the relations between alcohol intake and serum lipid level. METHODS: We reviewed 906 subjects who had visited for routine checkup at family practice of Hanil hospital and then excluded 130 subjects with DM, renal disease, thyroid disease, hepatic disease or drug administration which might have influence on serum lipids. From the remaining 776 subjects, we obtained the amount and the frequency of alcohol drinking during the previous 2 weeks and the duration of alcohol intake, using a formed questionnaire. The alcohol dependence score was recorded by the National Alcoholism Screening Test. The serum lipids such as total cholesterol, triglyceride, and HDL-cholesterol were tested by enzyme method and the obesity index was obtained by Broca's method. These data were analyzed by SAS/PC program RESULTS: The total number of subjects was 776. Of those, 67.7%(n=525) were male and 32.3%(n= 251) females. The mean age of subjects was 50.5 years(range 15 to 77 years). The distribution according to the obesity index was as follows ; underweight group 7.1%, normal-weight group 38.1%, overweight group 31.6%, obesity group 23.2%. The number of the drinkers was 382(49.2%) in males and 7 (0.9%) in females. The mean serum lipid level were compared and analyzed among the groups. The results were as follows ; the total cholesterol and triglyceride levels were higher in males and the HDL-cholesterol levels was higher in female. The total cholesterol and triglyceride levels increased with age and obesity index, the HDL-cholesterol level decreased with obesity index. In the relationship between alcohol intake and serum lipid levels in males, the geometric mean of triglyceride level was higher among all the variables of alcohol intake, and that of HDL-cholesterol level increased with the amount and the frequency of alcohol intake. The results of multiple regression analysis associated with age, obesity index, the amount and the frequency of alcohol intake in males were as follows ; the triglyceride level was positively associated with the amount of alcohol intake, and the HDL-cholesterol level was positively associated with the frequency of akohol intake. CONCLUSIONS: The effects of age, sex and the obesity index on the serum lipid level are remarkable, and in males, alcohol intake increases triglycaride and HDL-cholesterol levels. Further study is needed to find out about whether alcohol intake have influences on coronary heart disease according to serum lipid levels.