Background. Genetic lipoprotein disorders have been associated with premature coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods and Results. The prevalence of such disorders was determined in 102 kindreds (n=603 subjects) in whom the proband had significant CAD documented by angiography before the age of 60 years. Fasting plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, apolipoprotein (apo) B, and lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] values above the 90th percentile and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and apo A-I below the 10th percentile of age- and sex-specific norms were defined as abnormal. An abnormality was noted in 73.5% of probands compared with 38.2% in age-matched controls (p<0.001), with a low HDL cholesterol level (hypoalphalipoproteinemia) being the most common abnormality (39.2% of cases). In these kindreds, 54% had a defined phenotypic familial lipoprotein or apolipoprotein disorder. The following frequencies were observed: Lp(a) excess, 18.6% (includes 12.7% with no other dyslipidemias); hypertriglyceridemia with hypoalphalipoproteinemia, 14.7%; combined hyperlipidemia, 13.7% (11.7% with and 2.0% without hypoalphalipoproteinemia); hyperapobetalipoproteinemia (elevated apo B only), 5%; hypoalphalipoproteinemia, 4%; hypercholesterolemia (elevated LDL only), 3%; hypertriglyceridemia, 1%; decreased apo A-I only, 1%. Overall, 54% of the probands had a familial dyslipidemia; unclassifiable lipid disorders (spouse also affected) were found in 3%. No identifiable familial dyslipidemia was noted in 43% of kindreds of those; nearly half (45%) had a sporadic lipid disorder. Parent-offspring and proband-spouse correlations for these biochemical variables revealed that lipoprotein and apolipoprotein levels are in part genetically determined, with Lp(a) showing the highest degree of parent-offspring correlation. Conclusions. Our data indicate that more than half of patients with premature CAD have a familial lipoprotein disorder, with Lp(a) excess, hypertriglyceridemia with hypoalphalipoproteinemia, and combined hyperlipidemia with hypoalphalipoproteinemia being the most common abnormalities.